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Biological Services Program 



FWS/OBS-79/40 
December 1980 

ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF THE 
SEA ISLAND COASTAL REGION OF 
SOUTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA 

VOLUME I: PHYSICAL FEATURES OF THE 
CHARACTERIZATION AREA 







3Pfe 



Interagency Energy-Environment Research and Development Program 



OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT i 
U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 
AND 

Fish and Wildlife Service 



U.S. Department of the Interior 



The Biological Services Program was established within the U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service to supply scientific information and methodologies on 
key environmental issues that impact fish and wildlife resources and their 
supporting ecosystems. The mission of the program is as follows: 

• To strengthen the Fish and Wildlife Service in its role as 
a primary source of information on national fish and wild- 
life resources, particularly in respect to environmental 
impact assessment. 

• To gather, analyze, and present information that will aid 
decisionmakers in the identification and resolution of 
problems associated with major changes in land and water 
use. 

t To provide better ecological information and evaluation 
for Department of the Interior development programs, such 
as those relating to energy development. 

Information developed by the Biological Services Program is intended 
for use in the planning and decisionmaking process to prevent or minimize 
the impact of development on fish and wildlife. Research activities and 
technical assistance services are based on an analysis of the issues, a 
determination of the decisionmakers involved and their information needs, 
and an evaluation of the state of the art to identify information gaps 
and to determine priorities. This is a strategy that will ensure that 
the products produced and disseminated are timely and useful. 

Projects have been initiated in the following areas: coal extraction 
and conversion; power plants; geothermal , mineral and oil shale develop- 
ment; water resource analysis, including stream alterations and western 
water allocation; coastal ecosystems and Outer Continental Shelf develop- 
ment; and systems inventory, including National Wetland Inventory, 
habitat classification and analysis, and information transfer. 

The Biological Services Program consists of the Office of Biological 
Services in Washington, D.C., which is responsible for overall planning and 
management; National Teams, which provide the Program's central scientific 
and technical expertise and arrange for contracting biological services 
studies with states, universities, consulting firms, and others; Regional 
Staffs, who provide a link to problems at the operating level; and staffs at 
certain Fish and Wildlife Service research facilities, who conduct in-house 
research studies. 



For sale by the Superintendent of Documents. U.S. Government 

Printing Office, Washington, DC. 20402 

Stock No. 024 010 00590 4 



FWS/OBS-79/40 
December 1980 



ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERIZATION 
OF THE SEA ISLAND COASTAL REGION 
OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA 



VOLUME I 



PHYSICAL FEATURES 
OF THE 
CHARACTERIZATION AREA 



Edited by 

Thomas D. Mathews 

Frank W. Stapor, Jr. 

Charles R. Richter 

John V. Mlglarese 

Michael D. McKenzie 

Lee A. Barclay 

Project Manager: Edwin B. Joseph 

Project Coordinator: Michael D. McKenzie 

Marine Resources Division 

South Carolina Wildlife 

and Marine Resources Department 

P.O. Box 12559 

Charleston, South Carolina 29412 

Contract No. 14-16-0009-77-016 

Project Officer: Lee A. Barclay 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

P.O. Box 12559 

Charleston, South Carolina 29412 

Prepared for the 
Coastal Ecosystems Project 
Office of Biological Services 
Fish and Wildlife Service 
U.S. Department of the Interior 
Washington, D.C. 20240 



DISCLAIMER 

The opinions, findings, conclusions, or 
recommendations in this report are those of the 
authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of 
the Office of Biological Services, Fish and Wildlife 
Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, nor does 
mention of trade names or commercial products 
constitute endorsement or recommendation for use by 
the Federal Government. 

Any suggestions or questions regarding this 
report should be directed to: 

Information Transfer Specialist 

National Coastal Ecosystems Team 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

NASA/Slidell Computer Complex 

1010 Gause Blvd. 

Slidell, LA 70458 

(504) 255-6511 

FTS 685-6511 

This report should be cited as follows: 

Mathews, T.D., F.W. Stapor, Jr., C.R. Richter, et al., 
eds. 1980. Ecological characterization of the Sea 
Island coastal region of South Carolina and Georgia. 
Vol. I: Physical features of the characterization 
area. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of 
Biological Services, Washington, D.C. FWS/OBS-79/40. 
212 pp. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



PAGE 

PREFACE viii 

CONTRIBUTORS xii 

LIST OF FIGURES xiil 

LIST OF TABLES xvi 

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1 

CHAPTER TWO REGIONAL GEOLOGY 2 

I. Introduction 2 

II. Stratigraphy 2 

A. Mesozoic and Tertiary 2 

B. Pleistocene 5 

1. Coastal Terrace Complexes 5 

2. Fluvial Deposits 7 

3. Carolina Bays 7 

C . Holocene 13 

1. Santee River Delta 13 

2. Winy ah Bay 13 

3. Tybee Island Region 13 

4. Charleston County 14 

5. Snuggedy Swamp, Colleton County 21 

III. Regional Structural Geology 21 

A. Major Structural Features 21 

B. Minor Structural Features 21 

C. Geophysics 21 

1. Bouguer Gravity Anomalies 21 

2. Geomagnetic Anomalies 24 

D. Seismicity 24 

E. Historic Sealevel Changes , 24 

IV. Economic Mineral Deposits 27 

A. Phosphorite (Phosphate Ore) 27 

B. Limestone 27 

C . Sand 29 

D. Peat 29 

V. Groundwater 31 

A. Principal Artesian Aquifer 31 

B. Mesozoic Sandstone Aquifers 33 

C . Sal twater Encroachment 33 

D. Economic Value 33 

E . Management 38 

CHAPTER THREE SOILS 39 

I. Introduction 39 

A. Soil Structure 39 

B. Soil Classification 39 

II. Soil Formation 39 

III. Soils of Sea Island Coastal Region 41 

A. Pleistocene and Holocene Soils 41 

1. Mainland 41 

2. Island 41 

3. Tidal Marsh 41 

B. Nutrient Dynamics 44 

C. Biological Impacts of Acid Soils 44 

IV. Summary: Use and Management of Soils 44 

ill 



PAGE 

CHAPTER FOUR REGIONAL CLIMATIC TRENDS 46 

I . Introduction 46 

II . Temperature 46 

A. Maxima and Minima 46 

B. Negative Temperature Departures from Normal 46 

III. Relative Humidity 46 

IV. Rainfall 46 

A. Variability 46 

B. Occurrences of Drought Conditions 50 

V. Other Precipitation 50 

VI. Wind Patterns 50 

VII . Tornadoes 50 

A. Incidence 50 

B. Georgia Tornado Belt 50 

C. Historical Data 50 

VIII. Tropical Cyclones 53 

A. Criteria 53 

B. Early History 53 

C. Occurrence 53 

D. Classification 53 

E. Storm Tides 53 

F. Probability 56 

G. Precipitat ion 56 

H. Destructive Potential 56 

CHAPTER FIVE PHYSIOGRAPHY 61 

I. Introduction 61 

II. Islands 61 

A. Island Types 61 

B. Physiography 65 

1. Sea Islands 65 

2. Barrier Islands 65 

3. Marsh Islands 71 

C. Geologic Factors 71 

D. Barrier Island Formation 71 

1. Proposed Mechanisms 71 

2. Observations from Sea Island Coastal Region 72 

E. Erosion 72 

1. Barrier Islands 72 

2. Marsh Islands 73 

3. Control Measures 73 

III. Mainland Physical Features 73 

IV. Major River Valleys 73 

A. Introduction 73 

B. Fluvial Deposits 76 

C. Deltas 76 

D. Pleistocene History 76 

1. Sealevel Change 76 

2. River Valley Dunes 76 

E. River System Description 78 

1. Pee Dee 78 

2. San tee -Cooper 78 

3. Edisto-Combahee-Salkehatchie 78 

4. Savannah 78 

5. Ogeechee 78 

6. Al t amah a 78 

7. Sat ilia 78 

8. St. Marys 78 



Iv 



PAGE 

V. Estuaries 80 

A. Definition 80 

B. Classification and Genesis 80 

C. Sedimentation 80 

D. Water Circulation Patterns 80 

E. Charleston Harbor 80 

1. Introduction 80 

2. Size 81 

3. Salinity Distribution 81 

4. Temperature Distribution 82 

5. Bottom Sediment 82 

6. Suspended Sediment 82 

7. Tidal Currents 82 

8. Water Quality 84 

F. Doboy Sound 85 

1 . Introduction 85 

2. Size 85 

3. Salinity Distribution 85 

4. Temperature Distribution 85 

5. Suspended Sediment...... 86 

6. Tidal Currents 86 

7. Alterations 87 

VI. Coastal Inlets 87 

A. Definition 87 

B. Dynamics 87 

1 . Introduction , 87 

2. Littoral Drift 88 

a. Wave Heights 88 

b. Wave Approach Directions 88 

c . Summary 88 

C. Morphologic Classification 88 

D. Ebb-tidal Deltas 93 

1. Origin 93 

2 . Symmetry 93 

3. Geomorphic Nomenclature 93 

4. Sediments 93 

5. Dynamics 98 

a. Erosion and Deposition Rates 98 

b. Evolutionary Changes 98 

E. Man's Modification 99 

CHAPTER SIX SUMMARY OF PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL ALTERATIONS 102 

I. Natural Alterations 1° 2 

II. Man-induced Alterations 102 

A. Causes 102 

1 . Agriculture 102 

2. Urbanization and Industrialization 103 

3 . Mining 104 

4. Dredging and Filling - Navigation Projects 104 

a. Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway 105 

b. Georgetown Harbor-Winyah Bay 105 

c. Charleston Harbor 108 

d. Port Royal Harbor Ill 

e. Savannah Harbor 112 

f. Brunswick Harbor 113 

g. Kings Bay-St. Marys Entrance 115 

5. Santee-Coope. Diversion and Rediversion 116 

B. Effects 119 

1. Air Quality 119 

2. Water Quality 120 

a. South Carolina River Basins 129 

b. Georgia River Basins 130 

3. Solid Wastes 130 



PAGE 



APPENDIX A COUNTY DESCRIPTIONS 132 

I. Introduction 132 

II. South Carolina Counties 132 

A. Georgetown 132 

B. Berkeley 132 

C. Dorchester 133 

D. Charleston . 133 

E. Colleton 134 

F. Beaufort 134 

G. Jasper 135 

III. Georgia Counties 135 

A. Effingham 135 

B. Chatham 136 

C. Bryan 136 

D. Liberty 137 

E. Mcintosh 137 

F. Glynn 138 

G. Camden 139 

APPENDIX B ISLAND DESCRIPTIONS 140 

I. Introduction 140 

II. South Carolina Islands 140 

A. Pawleys Island 140 

B. North Island 140 

C. South Island 141 

D. Cedar Island 141 

E. Murphy Island 142 

F. Cape Island 142 

G. Lighthouse Island 144 

H. Raccoon Key 144 

I. Bull Island 145 

J. Capers Island 145 

K. Dewees Island 146 

L. Isle of Palms 146 

M. Sullivans Island 147 

N. Morris Island 147 

0. James Island 148 

P. Folly Island 148 

Q. Kiawah Island 149 

R. Seabrook Island 149 

S. Deveaux Bank 150 

T. Botany Bay Island 150 

U. Edisto Beach 151 

V. Pine Island 151 

W. Otter Island 151 

X. St. Helena Island 152 

Y. Hunting Island 152 

Z. Fripp Island 153 

AA. Pritchards Island 153 

BB. Little Capers Island 154 

CC. St. Phillips Island 154 

DD. Bay Point Island 155 

EE. Hilton Head Island 155 

FF. Daufuskie Island 156 

GG. Turtle Island 156 



vi 



PAGE 



III. Georgia Islands 157 

A. Tybee Island 157 

B. Little Tybee Island 157 

C. Williamson Island 158 

D. Wassaw Island 158 

E. Ossabaw Island 158 

F. St. Catherines Island 159 

G. Blackbeard Island 160 

H. Cabretta Island 160 

I. Sapelo Island 160 

J. Wolf Island 161 

K. Little St. Simons Island 161 

L. St. Simons Island 162 

M. Sea Island 162 

N. Jekyll Island 162 

0. Little Cumberland Island 163 

P. Cumberland Island 163 

APPENDIX C DREDGING DATA 165 

APPENDIX D PRIORITY RANKING OF AREAS IN SOUTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA IDENTIFIED BY THE 

U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE AS BEING IN NEED OF PRESERVATION 186 

REFERENCES CITED 191 

INDEX 20A 



vii 



PREFACE 

The Sea Island Coastal Region of 
South Carolina and Georgia is rich in 
natural resources, including moderate 
climate, dramatic scenic qualities, 
fertile soils, water, fish, wildlife, and 
minerals. These resources are valuable 
for a variety of often competitive uses, 
including active and passive recreation, 
transportation, agriculture, commercial 
fisheries, industrial development, pres- 
ervation, and so forth. 

A significant trend in the manage- 
ment and development of coastal re- 
sources is the growing realization that 
rational decisions and final judgements 
can be made only when all available in- 
formation on local environmental con- 
ditions is considered. This trend 
recognizes the need for a holistic 
approach and has promoted the eco- 
system concept in natural resource 
management. 



Recognition of the need for an eco- 
logical approach in managing coastal 
resources has developed from increasing 
evidence that man's utilization of this 
environment has brought about major, 
yet often subtle, changes in the func- 
tioning of ecosystems. In order to 
perpetuate the economic, aesthetic, and 
biological values of coastal ecosystems, 
we must understand their functional 
relationshps. As expressed by Odum 
(1964), our modern ecology must be a 
"systems ecology" or a hybridization of 
both ecology and systems methodology. 
The theory behind this approach embodies 
an important ecological principle: an 
ecological system is comprised of many 
components, no one of which can be 
altered without affecting the total sys- 
tem since no one part functions inde- 
pendently. By including a full assess- 
ment of the total ecosystem, manage- 
ment efforts - at both the field and ad- 
ministrative levels - can be designed 
to maximize the economic, social, and 
biological benefits derived from natural 
resources. Recognizing this, the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service is employing 
the ecosystem concept as a holistic 
mechanism for managing natural resources 
and is developing ecological character- 
ization as one basic tool for this 
appl icat ion. 

An ecological characterization is 
a synthesis of existing information and 
data structured in a manner which 
identifies functional relationships 
between natural processes and the 
various components of an ecosystem 
(Preface Fig. 1). Specifically, 
objectives of the Sea Island 
Ecological Characterization were to 
1) assemble, review, and synthesize 
existing biological, physical, and 



Preface Figure 1. Components and final 
products of an Ecological Charac- 
terization of the Sea Island 
Coastal Region. 



socioeconomic information and establish 
a sound information base for decision- 
making; 2) identify and describe 
various components (subsystems, habitats, 
communities, and key species) in this 
coastal ecosystem; 3) describe major 
physical, biological, and socioeconomic 
components and interactions; 4) describe 
known and potential ecosystem responses 
to man-induced changes; and 5) identify 
major information deficiencies for 
further study and decision-making needs. 

Ecological characterizations are 
designed primarily to assist coastal 
resource managers engaged in compre- 
hensive planning efforts such as 
assessment of the environmental impacts 
of development in the coastal zone. 
Other applications include the prep- 
aration of mitigation procedures 
and development alternatives. Charac- 
terization also provides an immediate 
data base for specific action programs 
(offshore oil and gas development, 
coastal construction permit reviews, 
etc.) and guidance in selecting para- 
meters that need study in further 
defining coastal ecological systems. 



viii 



Detailed discussions of the 
national coastal ecosystem characteriza- 
tion effort can be found in Tait (1977), 
Barclay (1978), Johnston (1978), and 
Palmisanc (1978). 



SEA ISLAND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERIZATION 

In February 1977, the U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service contracted with the 
Marine Resources Division of the South 
Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources 
Department to develop an ecological 
characterization for the Sea Island 
Coastal Region of South Carolina and 
Georgia. The project area includes the 
coastal tier of counties between the 
Georgetown/Horry county line in 
northern South Carolina south to the 
St. Marys River on the Georgia/Florida 
border, and the three lowland counties 
of Dorchester, Berkeley, and Effingham 
(Preface Fig. 2). 

The Sea Island Ecological Charac- 
terization is designed to yield 
products that will assist decision 
makers in evaluating and predicting 
impacts of man-induced perturbations 
(e.g., oil and gas development, 
dredging and filling, water resource 
projects), and in general coastal zone 
planning. The study identifies critical 
habitats and sensitive life history 
stages of important species, addresses 
functional interactions at the habitat 
level, and provides socioeconomic infor- 
mation relative to the coastal environ- 
ment. 

Data assimilated for this project 
are partitioned into three segments 
for descriptive purposes: physical 
features (e.g., geology and hydrology); 
socioeconomic features (e.g., demo- 
graphic characteristics and industrial 
development); and biological features 
(i.e., an ecological treatment of 
animals, plants, and their habitats). 

The overall framework for the 
preparation of ecological character- 
ization materials was provided by 
conceptual models. These conceptual 
models have been modified for inclusion 
in the final products to facilitate 
understanding of ecosystem functions. To 
accommodate the broadest range of 
potential users, a three-tier model 
presentation was used and includes the 
following elements for each ecosystem: 
1) a technical energese model demon- 
strating energy flow into and within 
the subject ecosystem, functional rela- 
tionships among representative 
components of the system, and flow of 
energy in various forms from the 
system; 2) a less technical pictorial 
model of the same ecosystem illus- 
trating representative flora and fauna; 
and 3) a representative food web indi- 
cating trophodynamics within the subject 
ecosystem. 



Organization of Final Products 

Several products are being developed 
from the Sea Island Ecological Charac- 
terization effort as follows: 

1) Characterization Atlas — the 
Atlas is an oversized document (28 x 42 in) 
that presents data in condensed form in 
several series at scales ranging from 
1:24,000 to 1:1,000,000. The Physiographic 
Series (1:100,000) describes wetlands, 
physiographic features, ecological habitats, 
and land use. The Geology Series presents 
stratlgraphic , structural, and geophysical 
information about the characterization area 
at several scales. Two topographic series 
at 1:250,000 and 1:100,000 depict various 
wildlife, archaeological and recreational 
resources, military and educational insti- 
tutions, water quality, spoil disposal, 
utilities, railroads and airports. Enlarge- 
ments of the five major urban areas give 
more detailed information on industries, 
point source discharge, power plants, etc. 
All maps are printed in color. 

2) Narrative Volumes — Detailed 
narrative treatment is provided for the 
three major ecosystem components: the 
physical, socioeconomic, and biological 
features of the Sea Island Coastal 
Region. Because conceptual models are 
particularly valuable in identifying 
ecosystem components and in relating 
their functional significance and regu- 
latory processes, appropriate sections 
of the narrative text are prefaced by 
exemplary models. These models serve as 
a tool to promote understanding of the 
functional relationships within and 
between systems and the impacts of 
various impingements and perturbations 

on their components. Narrative materials 
are arranged as follows: 

a) Physical features section — 
Detailed treatment is provided for 
topical areas such as climate, physiog- 
raphy, geologic history and structure, 
coastal and nearshore erosion and 
deposition, hydrology, and descriptions 

of individual coastal islands of the 
study area. 

b) Socioeconomic features 
section — Data are presented on popu- 
lation, labor force characteristics and 
trends, transportation, industrial devel- 
opment, agricultural practices, public 
utilities, energy resources, fish and 
wildlife conservation and utilization, 
and recreational resources. 

c) Biological features — 
This section describes biotic components 
along ecological lines. This approach 
facilitates the treatment of major 
community or habitat types, and 
generally deals with organisms at the 
population level. Functional rela- 
tionships and areas of ecological 
sensitivity are stressed. 



ix 



CEDAR 
MURPHY 
CAPE 
LIGHTHOUSE 
RACCOON KEY 




PAWLEYS 



■LITTLE CUMBERLAND 
-CUMBERLAND 



50 

d 



MILES 



Preface Figure 2. Study area of the Sea Island Coastal Region. 



3) Directory of Information 
Sources — This document identifies 
and describes major data sources rele- 
vant to the ecological characterization 
of coastal South Carolina and Georgia. 
The main purpose of the Directory is to 
guide users to known sources of data 
pertinent to specific subject areas. It 
is intended to serve as a referral service 
between groups or organizations with 
differing needs. 

4) Bibliography — A computerized 
bibilography of over 8,000 references has 
been assembled as a central component of 
the Sea Island Characterization. The 
system is designed for periodic updating, 
and all entries can be retrieved in a 
variety of ways including key word and 
author searches. 



xi 



CONTRIBUTORS 

Barbara S. Anderson Editorial staff, index 

Lee A. Barclay Editor, physical and chemical 

alterations 

Prescott H. Brownell Soils descriptions 

Jane S. Davis Scientific illustrations 

Robert H. Dunlap Cartography, county and island 

descriptions, physiography 

Carol F. DuPree Manuscript typing 

Patricia J. DuPree Manuscript typing 

Debra K. Farr Manuscript typing 

Pamela B. Floyd County and island descriptions 

Patricia M. Griffin Editorial staff 

Virginia M. Hargis Manuscript typing 

James S. Hart, Jr Scientific illustrations 

Thomas D. Mathews Editor, climatology, water quality, 

general harbor/sound descriptions 
Michael D. McKenzie Editor, physical and chemical 

alterations 
John V. Miglarese Editor, soils descriptions, air quality, 

water quality, index 

Lois E. Mishoe Manuscript typing 

James M. Monck Scientific illustrations 

Charles R. Richter Editor, county and island descriptions 

D. Nick Roark Island descriptions 

Elizabeth C. Roland Editorial staff 

Amelia Rose Smith Scientific illustrations 

Frank W. Stapor, Jr Editor, regional geology, physiography, 

physical alterations 

Dayton B. Stone, III Scientific illustrations 

Karen R. Swanson Scientific illustrations 



xii 



LIST OF FIGURES 

PREFACE PAGE 

Figure 

1. Components and final products of an Ecological Characterization of the Sea 

Island Coastal Region viii 



2. Study area of the Sea Island Coastal Region. 



CHAPTER TWO 
Figure 



>: 



2- 1. Vertical displacement of Pleistocene beach ridges and shoreline scarps in the 

Sea Island Coastal Region 7 

2- 2. The four stages of Pleistocene coastal terrace formation 8 

2- 3. Pleistocene beach ridges and shoreline scarps of South Carolina and Georgia.. 9 

2- 4. Stratigraphic cross sections of the subsurface Georgia Pleistocene 10 

2- 5. Isopach map of the subsurface Georgia Pleistocene 11 

2- 6. Quaternary geomorphic elements of the Great Pee Dee, Little Pee Dee, and 

Waccamaw river valleys 12 

2- 7. Quaternary fluvial deposits of the Santee River Valley 13 

2- 8. Carolina Bays present in northeastern Charleston County, South Carolina 14 

2- 9. Carolina Bay orientations and prevailing/dominant wind directions 15 

2-10. Aerial photograph of representative Carolina Bays in Horry County, South 

Carolina 16 

2-11. Bottom sediments of North Santee Bay 17 

2-12. Isopach map of transgressive marine sand deposited in mouth of North Santee 

River after diversion of the Santee River discharge into Charleston Harbor... 18 

2-13. Bottom sediments of Winyah Bay 19 

2-14. Aboriginal occupation sites and Holocene shoreline development, Chatham 

County, Georgia 20 

2-15. Stratigraphy of the Snuggedy Swamp peat deposit, Colleton County, South 

Carolina 22 

2-16. Major tectonic elements of the Southeastern United States and minor tectonic 

features affecting the northern flank of Southeast Georgia Embayment 23 

2-17. Isoseismal map and general description of the 1886 Charleston earthquake 27 

2-18. Seismicity of South Carolina and Georgia 29 

2-19. Detailed Bouguer gravity map of the Summerville, South Carolina, region 

encompassing the 1886 Charleston earthquake epicenters 30 

2-20. Sealevel curves for Charleston, Savannah River Entrance, and St. Marys River 

Entrance 29 

2-21. Map showing the approximate original distribution of phosphorite deposits in 

South Carolina 31 



■ i i i 



LIST OF FIGURES (Continued) 

CHAPTER TWO (Continued) PAGE 

Figure 

2-22. Potentiometric map of the Principal Artesian Aquifer in coastal Georgia and 

extreme southeastern South Carolina in 1880 and 1971 32 

2-23. Diagrammatic cross section of the Principal Artesian Aquifer from its 

recharge region to the Georgia coast 33 

2-24. Potentiometric and water quality map of major sands in the Cretaceous Black 

Creek Aquifer system in Horry and Georgetown counties 34 

2-25. Groundwater movement within the Principal Artesian Aquifer 35 

2-26. Quality of the groundwater in coastal South Carolina 36 

2-27. Chloride concentration of the groundwater in coastal South Carolina 37 

CHAPTER THREE 
Figure 

3- 1. Physical and biological processes within the three horizons of soil 40 

CHAPTER FOUR 
Figure 

4- 1. The date of the earliest and latest hurricane occurrences for 50 nautical 

mile segments of coastline for 1886 - 1970 57 

4- 2. Frequency of tropical cyclones along the United States Atlantic coastline.... 58 

4- 3. Number of times destruction was caused by tropical storms for the period 

1901 - 1955 59 

4- 4. Tropical cyclone precipitation shown as the percentage of total precipitation 

for the period 1931 - 1960 60 

4- 5. Hurricane tracks near the Sea Island Coastal Region 60 

CHAPTER FIVE 
Figure 

5- 1. A representative sea island of the coastal area - Daufuskie Island, Beaufort 

County, South Carolina 62 

5- 2. A r2presentative barrier island of the coastal area - Capers Island, 

Charleston County, South Carolina 63 

5- 3. A representative marsh island of the coastal area - Little Tybee Island, 

Chatham County, Georgia 64 

5- 4. Topographic profiles across a representative sea island and a representative 

barrier island 65 

5- 5. Idealized cross sections of barrier island formation from an offshore bar.... 71 

5- 6. An idealized diagram showing barrier island formation from a migrating spit.. 71 

5- 7. An idealized diagram showing the formation of barrier islands by submergence. 72 

5- 8. Sub-bottom profile of Winyah Bay 

5- 9. Tidal flow in lower Charleston Harbor 83 

xiv 



LIST OF FIGURES (Continued) 

CHAPTER FIVE (Continued) PAGE 

Figure 

5-10. The empirical relationships between an inlet's cross-sectional area and spring 

tidal prism 89 

5-11. Sea and swell data for the Sea Island Coastal Region 92 

5-12. Tidal delta morphology nomenclature 94 

5-13. Textural and structural characteristics of the sea bed adjacent to Georgia 

estuary entrances 97 

5-14. Net volumes of sediment deposited and eroded at the Stono Inlet between 1862 

and 1921 98 

5-15. Net volumes of sediment deposited and eroded at the Stono Inlet between 1921 

and 1964 99 

5-16. Net volumes of sediment deposited and eroded over a 100-year period at St. 

Marys Entrance 100 

5-17. Ebb-tidal delta geomorphic cycles 101 

CHAPTER SIX 

Figure 

6- 1. Volumes of sediment deposited and eroded at Winyah Bay Entrance between 1876 

and 1925 .• 109 

6- 2. Volumes of sediment deposited and eroded at Winyah Bay Entrance between 1925 

and 1964 110 

6- 3. Volumes of sediment eroded and deposited on Morris and Sullivans islands and 

their adjacent shallow bottoms between 1934 and 1963 , Ill 

6 " *• Volumes of sediment eroded and deposited on and about Morris Island, 

Charleston County, South Carolina, between 1851 and 1964 » 113 

6- 5. The disposal areas and shoaling reaches of the Charleston Harbor navigation 

project 114 

6- 6. Flow characteristics of Charleston Harbor after the 1942 diversion of the 

Santee River discharge into the Cooper River 115 

6- 7. The location and size of diked disposal areas for the Savannah Harbor naviga- 
tion project 116 

6- 8. Shifts in the location of maximum shoaling between the upstream reach 

(Hutchinson Island to the City of Savannah waterfront) and the downstream 

reach (Elba Island to the jetties) with successive channel deepenings H' 

6- 9. Location map of the Santee-Cooper Diversion and Rediversion projects area.... 119 

APPENDIX B 

Figure 

B- 1. Shoreline erosion and deposition on Murphy Island between 1941 and 1973 as 

measured from aerial photography 143 



LIST OF TABLES 

PAGE 

CHAPTER TWO 

Table 

2-1. Mesozoic and Tertiary formations of the Sea Island Coastal Region 3 

2- 2. Correlation chart of Pleistocene units described from the Sea Island Coastal 

Region 6 

2- 3. Description of the modified Mercalli intensity scale for earthquakes and its 

correlation with the Richter magnitude scale 25 

2- 4. Phosphate rock sold and mined in South Carolina 28 

CHAPTER THREE 
Table 

3- 1. Representative soils of the Sea Island Coastal Region of South Carolina and 

Georgia, and suitability for select uses 42 

CHAPTER FOUR 
Table 

4- 1. Temperature extremes by month in South Carolina, 1887 - 1974 47 

4- 2. Temperature extremes by month in Georgia, 1899 - 1966 48 

4- 3. South Carolina average relative humidity at 1300 hours 49 

4- 4. Georgia average relative humidity at 1300 hours 49 

4- 5. South Carolina precipitation averages, 1941 - 1970 49 

4- 6. Georgia precipitation averages, 1941 - 1970 51 

4- 7. Maximum amounts of rainfall in South Carolina 51 

4- 8. Maximum amounts of rainfall in Georgia 51 

4- 9. Minimum amounts of rainfall in the South Carolina Sea Island Coastal Region... 52 

4-10. Minimum amounts of rainfall in the Georgia Sea Island Coastal Region 52 

4-11. Wind statistics for selected locations in South Atlantic States 52 

4-12. Significant hurricanes of the Sea Island Coastal Region before 1872 54 

4-13. Significant hurricanes of the Sea Island Coastal Region after 1872 55 

CHAPTER FIVE 
Table 

5- 1. Physiographic data and development status for select barrier, marsh, and sea 

islands of South Carolina and Georgia 66 

5- 2. Physiographic data for 14 counties included in the Sea Island Coastal Region.. 74 

5- 3. Statistical data for 14 counties included in the Sea Island Coastal Region.... 75 

5- 4. Physiographic data for nine major river systems included in the Sea Island 

Coastal Region • 79 

xvi 



LIST OF TABLES (Continued) 

PAGE 

CHAPTER FIVE (Continued) 

Table 

5- 5. Types of estuarine circulation 81 

5- 6. Average monthly surface water salinities for indicated sections in the Doboy 

Sound estuary 85 

5- 7. Average monthly surface water temperatures for indicated sections in the Doboy 

Sound estuary 86 

5- 8. Volumes of maintenance dredge spoil in Doboy Sound at Dump Site 28 87 

5- 9. Littoral drift estimates for selected South Carolina beaches 90 

5-10. Average significant wave heights and periods at stations within and adjacent 

to the Sea Island Coastal Region 91 

5-11. Morphology classification of Sea Island Coastal Region inlets and related data 95 

CHAPTER SIX 
Table 

6- 1. Summary of dredging data for the major harbor projects in the Sea Island 

Coastal Region 106 

6- 2. Physical description, construction history, dredging data, and disposal 

easements of Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway In the Charleston and Savannah 
Districts, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 107 

6- 3. Spoil disposal sites in Charleston Harbor 112 

6- 4. Shoaling rates for Savannah Harbor 118 

6- 5. Common sources of the major air pollutants 121 

6- 6. Impacts of air pollution on human health, plants, animals, and non-living 

materials 122 

6- 7. A comparison of South Carolina and Georgia air quality standards with the 

primary Federal Ambient Air Quality Standards 123 

6- 8. Measurements of particulates, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide for all 

sampling sites in coastal air quality control regions of South Carolina during 
1977 124 

6- 9. Mean annual air quality measurements for particulates, sulfur dioxide, and 
nitrogen dioxide for coastal South Carolina and Georgia from 1970 through 
1977 125 

APPENDIX C 

Table 

C- 1. Summary of Georgetown Harbor-Winyah Bay dredging data 166 

C- 2. Summary of Chariest -n Harbor dredging data 172 

C- 3. Summary of Port Royal Harbor dredging data 174 

C- 4. Summary of Savannah Harbor dredging data 175 

C- 5. Summary of Brunswick Harbor dredging data 178 

C- 6. Summary of St. Marys Entrance Channel and Kings Bay dredging data 184 

xvii 



LIST OF TABLES (Continued) 

PAGE 

APPENDIX D 

Table 

D- 1. Summary of areas in South Carolina identified as being in need of preservation, 

by priority ranking 187 

D- 2. Summary of areas in Georgia identified as being in need of preservation, by 

priority ranking 189 



xviii 



CHAPTER ONE 
INTRODUCTION 



The Sea Island Coastal Region includes 
the tier of coastal counties in South Caro- 
lina and Georgia and the adjacent lowland 
counties of Dorchester, Berkeley, (South 
Carolina), and Effingham (Georgia). To the 
north, the study area is bounded by the 
Horry /Georgetown County line in South 
Carolina and bounded to the south by the 
St. Marys River on the Georgia/Florida 
border. The east and west boundaries 
are the seaward 3 mi (4.8 km) territorial 
limit and the inland county lines, respec- 
tively (Preface Fig. 2). The Sea Island 
Coastal Region extends nearly 300 mi 
(480 km) along the coast and is typified 
by numerous islands, inlets, and sounds. 

The material in this volume has 
been provided to complement Volumes II and 
III. Specific geological, physical, 
geographical, and chemical data are 
presented to illustrate the current 
environmental status of the islands, 
estuaries, and sounds of the Sea Island 
Coastal Region. Whenever possible, 
historical data have been included for 
comparison with current data or to il- 
lustrate long-term trends. Future plans 
for development, if available, have also 
been included. 

The material contained herein is 
divided into chapters, each of which deals 
with a major, broad topic. Chapter Two, 
Regional Geology, covers the general 
geology of the Sea Island Coastal Region, 
ranging from a discussion of the strati- 
graphy of the area to a description of 
economic mineral deposits. Significant 
strat igraphic units and structural 
features are outlined, e.g., Carolina Bays, 
the Duplin Formation, and the Southeast 
Georgia Embayment. 

Chapter Three contains a discussion 
of soil types in the Sea Island Coastal 
Region. Attention is given to mainland 
and island soils as well as tidal marsh 
soils. 

Chapter Four is a discussion of 
climatic trends of the Sea Island Coastal 
Region. Historical data are presented to 
illustrate trends in winds, minimum and 
maximum temperatures, and rainfall. 
Hurricane and tornado statistics are also 
included, especially data dealing with 
rates of incidence, general physical 
characteristics (wind speed, rairfall, 
and location), and destruction (particu- 
larly fatalities). 

Chapter Five describes the physio- 
graphic features of the Sea Island Coastal 
Region. In particular, mainland physical 
features, major river valleys and river 



systems, estuaries, coastal inlets, and 
the islands are discussed. Charleston 
Harbor and Doboy Sound are discussed in 
detail as respective examples of a highly 
industrialized environment and a relatively 
unmodified, pristine area. Physio- 
graphic and statistical data for the 14 
counties in the study area are displayed in 
tables. A brief synopsis of each major 
river system is also provided. Where 
available, specific information on sedi- 
ment transport at tidal inlets is also 
included. 

Chapter Six is basically an overview 
of man's impact on the Sea Island Coastal 
Region in terms of physical and chemical 
environmental alterations and modifications. 
The chapter describes the causes of the 
major alterations, i.e., agriculture, 
urbanization-industrialization, and mining, 
along with detailed descriptions of his- 
torical dredging data for maintenance 
of harbors and the Atlantic Intracoastal 
Waterway. Additionally, the Santee- 
Cooper Diversion and Rediversion projects 
are presented. Effects of man-induced 
alterations on air quality and water 
quality are also discussed. 

Appendices A and B are a compilation of 
county and island descriptions respectively, 
consisting primarily of physiographic 
data. The general dimensions and elevation 
ranges are included for islands and 
counties. Vegetative types are listed 
for the islands, while the areal extent 
and types of marshes are presented for 
the counties. Appendix C presents 
historical dredging data for maintenance 
of harbors in the Sea Island Coastal 
Region. Appendix D lists private land- 
holdings identified as high priority repre- 
sentatives of unique natural systems which 
have been targeted for preservation efforts 
by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

In general, the data have been 
presented in the same units as used by 
the original authors with conversions 
offered for comparison, i.e., the 
original data may have been in the 
English system and converted to metric 
or vice versa. Most tables and figures, 
however, were not converted from the 
original system due to space limitations 
and difficulties in drafting. 



CHAPTER TWO 
REGIONAL GEOLOGY 

I. INTRODUCTION 

Sands, silts, and clays originally 
derived from the Appalachian Mountains 
are organized into coastal, fluvial 
(river), and aeolian (dune) deposits 
which almost completely blanket the 
Sea Island Coastal Region. These 
sediments were transported seaward and 
eventually deposited during the Quater- 
nary period, which began about 1.8 x 10 
years ago. The underlying bedrock strata 
are eroded, variously lithified, sedi- 
mentary rocks of Tertiary and Mesozoic 
age. These bedrock units are exposed 
primarily in river banks and bottoms, in 
deep tidal channels, on the nearshore 
continental shelf, and in man-made quarries. 



The Georgi 
located in the 
Embayment, a st 
the north by th 
south by the Pe 
Georgia Uplift, 
coastal islands 
southern flank 
The regional st 
of gently dippi 
sloping seaward 
faults, either 
deforming the b 
high level of p 
seismicity cent 
South Carolina, 
at present, lit 



a coastal islands are 
Southeast Georgia 
ructural basin bounded on 
e Cape Fear Arch and on the 
ninsular Arch-Central 
The South Carolina 

are located on the 
of the Cape Fear Arch, 
ructural pattern is one 
ng or inclined beds, 

There are no known major 
active or inactive, 
edrock. The relatively 
resent and historic 
ered around Charleston, 

is quite anomalous and, 
tie understood. 



Economic mineral deposits in the 
Sea Island Coastal Region include 
limestone, quartz sand, peat, phosphorite, 
and groundwater. The Santee Formation 
(limestone) is quarried in Berkeley, 
Dorchester, and Georgetown counties, 
South Carolina, for cement, agricultural 
lime, and road metal. Quaternary quartz 
sand deposits, mostly Pleistocene in age, 
are excavated near major cities, e.g., 
Charleston and Savannah, and along major 
highways for road metal and land fill. 
Phosphorite was first commercially mined 
in the United States from Quaternary and 
late Tertiary deposits located around 
Charleston, South Carolina. Mining in 
Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester, Colleton, 
and Beaufort counties, South Carolina, began 
in 1867 and terminated in 1938. Groundwater 
may well be the most important mineral 
resource in the Sea Island Coastal Region. 
Approximately 1.44 x 10 1/day (3.8 x 
10° gal/day) are being pumped for munici- 
pal and industrial use. The estimated 
annual value of this resource to the region 
is $19 million (Krause and Gregg 1972, 
Duke 1977). 



II. STRATIGRAPHY 

A. MESOZOIC AND TERTIARY 

Mesozoic and Tertiary sedimentary 
rocks are infrequently exposed in the Sea 
Island Coastal Region with outcrops gener- 
ally limited to isolated river banks, 
deep tidal channels, nearshore continental 
shelf bottoms, and quarries. One example 
is Grays Reef, an outcrop of the Duplin 
Formation (Hunt 1974), which occurs on 
the Georgia continental shelf off Sapelo 
Island. 

This exposure and others 
scattered throughout the relatively smooth 
topography of the Sea Island Coastal Region's 
nearshore continental shelf suggest that 
Holocene and Pleistocene sediment cover 
(Atlas plate 21) is rather thin (Woolsey 
1977). The Pee Dee Formation, an upper 
Cretaceous formation, outcrops in Georgetown 
County while progressively younger 
Tertiary units are exposed to the 
southwest in coastal South Carolina. 
Only upper Tertiary beds (Pliocene 
and Miocene in age) are exposed in 
the Georgia Sea Island Coastal Region. 
Detailed geologic maps have not been made 
for this region, largely due to the 
lack of exposures, but regional maps 
showing a generalized geologic picture 
have been compiled (Atlas plate 19B) . 

Deep wells, both water and hydro- 
carbon (oil and gas), have provided the 
majority of the Mesozoic and Tertiary 
stratigraphic information known to date 
for the Sea Island Coastal Region 
(Herrick and Vorhis 1963, Maher and 
Applin 1971, Cramer 1974). The oldest 
sedimentary rocks are deeply buried 
lower Cretaceous sandstones, shales, 
and siltstones (11.30 x 10" years 
old) resting on an eroded basement of 
igneous and metamorphic crystalline 
rocks. Limestone, the dominant rock 
type underlying the Sea Island Coastal 
Region, overlies these sedimentary 
rocks and ranges in age from upper 
Cretaceous (1.0 x 10 years) to 
Oligocene (=3.0 x 10 years). Miocene 
and Pliocene beds mark a change 
to more clastic-rich limestones, 
i.e., rich in sand, silt, and clay. All 
of these Mesozoic and Tertiary limestones 
pass into sandstones, shales, and silt- 
stones in directions tending 1) northwest 
toward the Georgia-South Carolina Piedmont, 
and 2) to a lesser degree, northeast 
onto the Cape Fear Arch. These gen- 
eralized stratigraphic/lithologic rela- 
tionships are shown on Atlas plate 21. 
A correlation chart of the Mesozoic and 
Tertiary formations known from the Sea 
Island Coastal Region is presented in 
Table 2-1. 

Major transgressions of the sea 
over the coastal plain have occurred 
during the upper Cretaceous, Paleocene, 






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middle Eocene (Claiborn), upper Eocene 
(Jackson), Oligocene (Chickasawhay) , 
middle Miocene, and upper Pliocene. 
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marine sediments far up onto the coastal 
plain. Major regressions, indicated by 
1) presumed subaerial erosion of older 
rocks and 2) deposition of fluvial- 
lacustrine-deltaic sediment on top of 
marine sediments, occurred during the 
Paleocene (Midway), Oligocene 
(Vicksburg), lower Miocene, and lower 
PI iocene . 



B. 



PLEISTOCENE 



1. Coastal Terrace Complexes 

Pleistocene sediments of the Sea 
Island Coastal Region are organized into 
topographically distinct, 1 ithologically 
similar, geomorphic units arranged in a 
series of terraces parallel to the coast. 
These terraces decrease in elevation from 
100 ft (30.5 m) in Georgia and 215 ft 
(65.5 m) in South Carolina down to 
present sea level. Pleistocene, sediments 
were deposited between 1.8 x 10 years 
and 1.0 x 10 years ago. There are two 
major geomorphic units, linear sand 
ridges and broad clayey sand plains. 
The sand ridges are the remains of 
barrier islands, and the clayey sand 
plains are the former back-barrier tidal 
flat lagoons, or marshes. (See Atlas 
plate 21 for descriptive cross sections 
through coastal terraces in northern 
South Carolina, central South Carolina, 
and central Georgia.) These coastal 
terraces are considered to have formed 
at high stands ( interglacials) of the 
fluctuating, although falling, Pleistocene 
Atlantic Ocean. Sea level was fluctu- 
ating as a result of the intermittent 
continental glaciat ion-deglaciat ion , but 
with a net decrease from the level of 
the early upper Pliocene (Duplin Forma- 
tion) transgression. 

The correlating and/or tracing of 
individual Pleistocene geomorphic units 
over long distances is difficult, largely 
due to 1) their discontinuous nature, 
especially the sand ridges, and 2) 
the lack of fossils. Topographic 
elevation has been the basis for most 
region-to-region correlations of terrace 
sequences (Cooke 1931, 1932, 1936, 1943, 
MacNeil 1949, Doering 1960, Hoyt and 
Hails 1974, Oaks and Dubar 1974). This 
practice assumes that areas so correlated 
have suffered no differential tectonic 
(deformation of the earth's crust) uplift 
or downwarp. Since Winker and Hovsrd 
(1977) demonstrated diflerential uplift 
of Pleistocene shoreline features using 
aerial photography and modern detailed 
topographic maps, these assumptions of 
Pleistocene tectonic stability are suspect 
(Fig. 2-1). Thus, it may not be possible 
to correlate Pleistocene coastal deposits 
on the basis of topographic elevations. 



Exposures of fossil-bearing beds are rare 
and the strat igraphic ranges of the 
contained fauna are poorly known. The 
shell-bearing Waccamaw Formation has been 
determined to be Calabrian in age (basal 
Pleistocene, 1.0 - 1.8 x 10 years old) 
on the basis of foraminiferal zonation 
(Akers 1972) and amino acid dating 
(Belknap 1979). Amino acid determina- 
tions on shells from the Canepatch and 
Socastee Formations in northern South 
Carolina have yielded tentative ages of 
300,000 - 500,000 years and 300,000 
years, respectively (Belknap 1979). 
Shells from the Mt . Pleasant Barrier 
(Princess Anne Formation) and the Talbot- 
Pamlico Formation of central South 
Carolina have produced tentative amino 
acid ages of 120,000 years and 800,000 - 
1,000,000 years, respectively (Belknap 
1979). The Pamlico Formation of 
southern Georgia has yielded tentative 
amino acid ages of 500,000 - 700,000 
years (Belknap 1979). The Anastasia 
Formation in the Cape Canaveral, Florida 
region (a Paml ico-Princess Anne 
correlative) has been determined to be 
100,000 - 120,000 years by U/Th (Uranium/ 
Thorium) disequilibrium method of dating 
shells (Osmond et al. 1970). These 
problems, anomalies, and contradictions 
of correlation are reflected in the 
correlation chart showing the various 
Pleistocene formations and geomorphic 
units recognized in coastal Georgia and 
South Carolina (Table 2-2). 

The various Pleistocene geomorphic 
units, as well as formations recognized 
in the Sea Island Coastal Region are 
presented in Atlas plate 19B (a highly 
generalized and, at present, tentative 
map description). The geomorphic unit 
most commonly identified in the Sea 
Island Coastal Region has been the 
coastal terrace (Cooke 1936, 1943, 
Colquhoun 1969, 1974, Dubar et al. 1974, 
Hoyt and Hails 1974). These terraces 
are thought to have a complex origin and 
result from both erosional and deposi- 

tional processes operating during marine 
transgressions (ocean encroaching upon 
the land) and regression (land building 
out into the ocean and/or ocean retreat). 
Colquhoun's (1969) detailed interpreta- 
tion of these processes which interact to 
produce a coastal terrace is presented 
in Figure 2-2. Winker and Howard (1977) 
abandoned the terrace idea in favor 
of beach ridge-barrier island sequences. 
They mapped three major groups in the 
Sea Island Coastal Region: Trail 
Ridge, Effingham, and Chatham (Fig. 
2-3). The correlation between these 
three groups and the long recognized 
coastal terraces and formations is shown 
in Table 2-2. 

Utilizing subsurface data from a 
series of wells, Herrick (1965) found 
the Georgia Pleistocene to be a sequence 
of coarse micaceous (mica-rich) sands 



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F£A * CHATHAM 
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27° 28" 29° 30» »• "ifgi" 4 "SO?" 
DEGREES NORTH LATITUDE m ™ ™ W 

Figure 2-1. Vertical displacement of Pleistocene beach ridges and 

shoreline scarps in the Sea Island Coastal Region (adapted 
from Winker and Howard 1977). Note that all three sequences 
are not found at the same respective topographic elevation. 
This strongly suggests that differential tectonic uplift 
and/or downwarp has occurred during the Pleistocene in this 
region. (MSL = Mean Sea Level.) 



100 



in 



50 (- 

LU 

5 



MSL 



thickening seaward and grading into and 
surrounding a lignitic clay (Fig. 2-4). 
He identified two major deposition 
centers: 1) coastal Liberty, Bryan, 
and Chatham counties and 2) southern 
Camden County, centered about the 
St. Marys River (Fig. 2-5). 

2. Fluvial Deposits 

Pleistocene fluvial (river) 
deposits, e.g., flood plain, point bar, 
dune sheet, and terrace features, occur 
in all the major river valleys. The 
most extensively studied deposits are 
those on the Little and Great Pee Dee 
rivers (Fig. 2-6) (Thorn 1967, 1970) and 
those of the Santee River (Fig. 2-7) 
(Colquhoun et al. 1972). River Valley 
dune sheets are present in the Great 
Pee Dee, Santee, Savannah, and Altamaha 
river valleys covering the youngest 
Pleistocene fluvial terraces (Atlas 
plates 9, 11, 17). These dunes 
are of late Wisconsin age (20,000 to 
10,000 years ago) and represent a time 
of changing river conditions, i.e., a 
reduction in overall discharge and/or a 
change from braided to meandering. 
These changes would serve to expose 
bare flood plains to wind action. Thorn 
(1970) further concludes that these are 
blown-out or degraded parabolic dunes 
formed by southwesterly and westerly 
winds. This conclusion is based on 
geomorphological observai ions that the 
dune fields occur as a series of SW/NE 
to W/E trending ridges located on the 
eastern sides of the major river valleys 
(Great Pee Dee, Santee, Savannah, and 
Al tamaha) . 



3. Carolina Bays 

Carolina Bays (shallow, elliptical, 
poorly drained depressions) occur 
throughout the Sea Island Coastal Region 
and are developed on a variety of 
Pleistocene features: coastal terraces, 
river terraces, beach ridge plains, and 
river valley dune sheets (Fig. 2-8). 
The long axes of these elliptical 
depressions commonly range between 1 to 4 
km (0.6 to 2.5 mi) in length (Kaczorowski 
1977). A sand rim surrounds most bays 
and is typically best developed on the 
southeastern edge. The common long axis 
orientation is northwest-southeast in 
the Carolines and Georgia (Fig. 2-9). 
These features support a cypress-tupelo 
and/or shrub vegetation, and when 
cultivated, are more fertile and produc- 
tive than adjacent lands (Kaczorowski 
1977). Tuomey (1848) first called 
attention to the existence of "circular 
depressions that are scattered over the 
surface" and which "are not deep and 
conical like lime-sinks." 

Aerial photography more clearly 
shows the true shape, orientation, 
positioning, and distribution of Carolina 
Bays (Fig. 2-10). Subsequent to the 
early 1930's aerial photography of the 
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, region, 
Melton and Schriever (1933) proposed 
that these features resulted from an 
enormous meteorite shower. Cooke (1934) 
pointed out the following flaws in this 
theory: 

1) The bays are in neat, orderly 
groups and not randomly 
scattered. 



LANDWARD 
SCARP 




WAVE CUT 

/PRIMARY STRANDLINE 



-SEA LEVEL • 



«2 STAGE I— LITTORAL / EROSIONAL 

CO 

UJ 

as 
o 

< 
oe 



SEA LEVEL - 




STAGE 2 — SUBLITTORAL 



\_ 



SEAWARD 
SLOPE 

»J.i... ...A.......I.1.I. 




STAGES- BAR/SPIT 



SECONDARY BARRIER 
ISLAND 




SLA LLVLL 



SECONDARY STRANDLINE 



STAGE 4- BARRIER ISLAND-LAGOON— TIDAL FLAT 



Figure 2-2. The four stages of Pleistocene coastal terrace formation 
(Colquhoun 1969). Note that both marine transgression 
and regression are represented as fundamental parameters. 
In addition, this interpretation accounts for the "paired" 
nature of many Pleistocene terrace complexes, i.e., two 
barrier islands are frequently associated with one terrace. 
The resulting terrace complex contains a complicated 
arrangement of many sediment types from barrier island to 
marsh-lagoon deposits. 



2) The bays are limited entirely 
in distribution to the coastal 
plain. 

3) Meteorite craters tend to be 
round rather than elliptical. 

4) No meteoritic material or fused 
silica has been found in or near 
the bays. 

5) The substrate of the bays is 
relatively undisturbed. 

Prouty (1952) tabulated a list of 38 more 
obvious facts known about Carolina Bays 
and presented a strong case for the 
meteorite origin. He placed considerable 



emphasis on the probable role of air- 
shock waves in the formation of 
elliptical depressions and stated that 
magnetometer surveys of bays had produced 
"very favorable results in support of the 
meteoritic theory." Thorn (1970) concluded 
from an extensive study of Carolina Bays 
in Marion and Horry counties, South 
Carolina, that these features ". . . 
were formed by the enlargement of small 
ponds during a period of strong south- 
westerly winds accompanied by cool , 
pluvial (rainy) conditions and high 
water tables in the mid- to late 
Wisconsin." These features were 
originally shallow ponds subject to wave 
action which smoothed their shores into 
regular, elliptical sandy berms 




\\\\\ 




S^gy Beach Ridges and Related Lineations: 

' 5! * Chatham Sequence 
Effingham Sequence 
*w mr '' Trail Ridge -Orongetourg Scarp Sequence 

Shoreline Scarps 

Fluvial Terraces (undifferentiated) 



9 , , » 100 Km 

i — i — i — i — i — i i i i i > 



itV 'iiT 



Fla.| 



/!l \ 



Figure 2-3. Pleistocene beach ridges and shoreline scarps of South Carolina and Georgia (Winker 
and Howard 1977). 




U_LJ|_>LJ 




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'rt 

u 

u 

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0) 

O 
0) 

o 

U-l 

u 
9 

3 









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LO 




Figure 2-5. Isopach (thickness) map of the subsurface Georgia Pleistocene (Herrick 1965), 
Note the two major deposition centers: (A) in coastal Liberty, Bryan, and 
Chatham counties and (B) in southern Camden County, centered about the St. 
Marys River. Isopach contours are in feet. 



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NORTH 



SOUTH 




KEY 

MARSH MUD & BLUE CLAY 
FINE • MEDIUM SAND 
6REY SAMD S SMAVEL 
MARL 



Figure 2-7. Quaternary fluvial deposits of the Santee River Valley (Colquhoun et al. 1972). 



(Kaczorowski 1977). The present prevail- 
ing/dominant wind directions at south- 
eastern cities is approximately perpendi- 
cular to the long axes of their geo- 
graphically adjacent Carolina Bays 
(Fig. 2-9). Today very few, if any, 
contain water and are, rather, filled 
with a distinctive vegetation. (See 
Volume III, Chapter Five for a discussion 
of Carolina Bay vegetation.) Humate 
cement (Daniels et al. 1976) present 
in the coastal sands served to restrict 
overall drainage and to perch local 
water tables, thus promoting lake or pond 
formation throughout these Pleistocene 
terrace complexes. Dating the age of 
Carolina Bay formation is quite difficult 
because of poor preservation of organic 
material and possible confusion and/or 
contamination of bay-generated organic 
material with the underlying humate. The 
available age determinations indicate 
bay formation prior to 40,000 and 
extending to 6,000 years ago 
(Kaczorowski 1977). 

C. HOLOCENE 

Holocene-age sediments, deposited 
within the last 10,000 years, comprise 
the river bottoms, swamps, marshes, 
beaches, beach and dune ridges, tidal 
flats, tidal deltas, biogenic reefs, e.g., 
Crassostrea virginica (oyster) and 
Dodecaceria sp. (colonial worm) reefs, 
estuarine bottoms, and the floor of the 
shallow, nearshore shelf. Selected 
examples from the Sea Island Coastal 
Region follow. 

1. Santee River Delta 

Aburawi (1972) described the Holocene 
stratigraphy of the lower Santee Delta 
(seaward of the Atlantic Intracoastal 
Waterway) from a series of piston cores 



(Atlas plate 22B ). He identified two 
major sediment facies or types: a delta 
plain facies of silty clay marsh and 
swamp deposits, and a delta front facies 
of marine sands with interbedded clay 
layers. The delta front facies is 
located seaward and below the delta 
plain facies. 

Lee (1973) also used piston cores 
to develop a detailed sedimentary facies 
map of the North Santee Bay (Fig. 2-11). 
Along with Mullin (1973), he identified 
a marine sand lens deposited since the 
early 1930's after diversion of the 
Santee River discharge into Charleston 
Harbor. This marine sand lens trans- 
gresses various estuarine facies 
(Fig. 2-12) and is thought to have formed 
as a result of decreased scour due to 
river flow. 

2. Winyah Bay 

Colquhoun (1973) described the 
bottom sediments of Winyah Bay (Fig. 2-13) 
and observed that clay-rich sediment 
dominated the upper bay while sand-rich 
sediment dominated the lower bay. Old 
channels were marked by sand-rich 
linear deposits. 

3. Tybee Island Region 

Using archaeologic dating of 
aboriginal midden deposits, DePratter 
and Howard (1977) determined the 
constructional history of the Holocene 
beach ridge plain extending between the 
Savannah and Wilmington rivers seaward 
of Wilmington Island (Fig. 2-14). The 
oldest recognized Holocene shoreline is 
4,500 years old, located immediately in 
front of Wilmington Island, with the bulk 



L3 



Figure 




-*- 







2 




m, 






10 




»- 




0) 




•" 




« 


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§ 




* 


ro 


-ilO 




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E 

o 

* 




Carolina Bays present in northeastern Charleston County, South Carolina. The elliptical 
outlines and common orientations of long and short axes are characteristic of these 
features throughout the Sea Island Coastal Region. 



of beach ridge construction having taken 
place since 2,700 years ago. Tybee 
Island, the site of the City of Savannah 
Beach, was constructed approximately 
675 years ago. 

DePratter and Howard's (1977) 
chronology was developed from aboriginal 
artifacts whose radiometric ages were 
determined elsewhere. There is theroreti- 
cally some finite lag time between 
beach ridge construction and aboriginal 
occupation. However, given the poten- 
tial attractiveness of this environment, 
this lag time may be much less than 
errors associated with 1) identifi- 
cation and/or correlation of artifacts 
and 2) the original radiometric dating 
of the type artifacts. 



4. Charleston County 

Stapor and Mathews (1976) determined 
the constructional history of Kiawah, 
Seabrook, Botany Bay, and Bay Point (the 
site of Edisto Beach) barrier islands 
from radiometric dating of shell beds, 
supplemented with archaeologic dating of 
aboriginal midden sites. Barrier island 
deposition began at least 2,500 years 
ago on Kiawah Island and was essentially 
complete by 1,000 years ago. Subsequent 
fluctuations of the Stono ebb tidal 
delta have caused local erosion and 
deposition on the island's northern 
tip. Seabrook and Botany Bay islands 
both are no older than 1,200 years, and 
Edisto Beach is no older than 1,600 
years. They also noted the occurrence 



14 



WILMINGTON 




CHERRY PT 



JACKSONVILLE 



Figure 2-9. Carolina Bay orientations (double-headed arrows) and prevailing/dominant wind directions 
for major cxt.es within and without the Sea Island Coastal Region (Kaczorowski 1977) 



]'. 




Fieure 2-10. Aerial photograph of representative Carolina Bays in Horry County South Carolina. 
Figure Aerial p^ ^^ {^^ o£ Agr i cu l tur e , Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation 

Service, Salt Lake City, Utah.) 



L6 




KILOMETERS 



WH I M 



WHMH 



■!%v!v»vTv 



U^fci 



MARSH FACIES 
OYSTER REEF FACIES 
BAY FACIES 
MARINE FACIES 
FLUVIAL FACIES 



Figure 2-11. Bottom sediments of North Santee Bay (Lee 1973), 



1 7 



■1. ' iL 




Figure 2-12. Isopach (thickness) map of transgressive marine sand deposited in mouth of North 
Santee River after the diversion of the Santee River discharge into Charleston 
Harbor (Mullin 1973). Isopach lines are in meters. 




ZM SHELL 
DEBRIS 



JETTY 



Figure 2-13. Bottom sediments of Winyah Bay (adapted from Colquhoun 1973), 



L9 



ATLANTIC 
OCEAN 



20 BP 




Figure 2-14. Aboriginal occupation sites and Holocene shoreline development, Chatham County, 
Georgia (DePratter and Howard 1977). The solid and dashed lines are dated 
shorelines. The archaeologic ceramic types are listed in descending order 
from oldest to youngest. (B. P. -Before Present.) 



.Tl 



of Holocene-age colonial worm reefs 
( Dodecaceria sp.) immediately offshore 
of Edingsville Beach (central Edisto 
Island) in waters 2 to 3 m (6.5 to 10.0 
ft) deep. Preliminary radiometric 
determinations indicate that these reefs 
began forming 4,000 years ago and 
continued to colonize exposed Pleistocene 
bedrock (lithified, calcareous beds) up 
until 600 years ago. 

5. Snuggedy Swamp, Colleton County 

The Holocene peat deposit at 
Snuggedy Swamp, Colleton County, South 
Carolina, has been extensively studied by 
Staub (1977) and Staub and Cohen (1978, 
1979). They determined that this peat, 
up to 4.5 m (14.8 ft) thick and presently 
being commercially exploited, began 
forming approximately 4,000 years ago. 
This freshwater peat rests on a sequence 
of silty and clayey saltmarsh deposits 
(Fig. 2-15). 



III. 



REGIONAL STRUCTURAL 
GEOLOGY 



A. MAJOR STRUCTURAL FEATURES 

The three major geologic structures 
present in and without the Sea Island 
Coastal Region are the 1) Southeast 
Georgia Embayment, 2) Cape Fear Arch, 
and 3) Peninsular Arch-Central Georgia 
Uplift (Fig. 2-16). The Southeast 
Georgia Embayment is a depression, 
plunging gently seaward or to the east 
and/or southeast, having a basement of 
Mesozoic and Tertiary sedimentary rocks. 
Approximately 1,500 m (4,900 ft) of 
sedimentary rock (mostly limestone) 
overlie this basement in coastal Georgia 
(Atlas plate 21) . Downwarping began 
during middle Eocene (Claiborn) time 
and continued intermittently up through 
the Miocene (Herrick and Vorhis 1963). 

To the southwest of the Southeast 
Georgia Embayment lies the Peninsular 
Arch-Central Georgia Uplift which is the 
major positive tectonic feature in the 
Southeastern United States. This arch 
plunges both to the northwest where it 
terminates in the Central Georgia Uplift 
and to the southeast where it may become 
the Bahama Uplift. Early Paleozoic 
sedimentary rocks make up this arch, and 
although it is a prominent subsurface 
feature, it is not revealed by gravity 
or magnetic data. This uplift was 
active during the Paleozoic and Mesozoic 
and perhaps, as Cramer (1974) sugg sts, 
the early Cenozoic. Cenozoic tectonism 
took place along an axis, the Ocala 
Uplift, located to the southwest of this 
structure's major trend. Approximately 
1,200 m (3,940 ft) of Mesozoic and 
Tertiary sedimentary rock overlie the 
crest of the Peninsular Arch-Central 
Georgia Uplift (Atlas plate 21). 



The Cape Fear Arch is an 
asymmetrical uplift plunging to the 
southeasc. The southwestern limb dips 
more gently toward the Southeast Georgia 
Embayment than does the northeastern 
limb toward the Hatteras Embayment. 
Seismic refraction data of Meyer (1956) 
and Hersey et al. (1959) suggest a sea- 
ward extension of the Cape Fear Arch 
across the continental shelf and the 
Blake Plateau. Approximately 470 m 
(1,540 ft) of Mesozoic and Cenozoic 
sediments overlie this arch along its 
crest at the North Carolina/South Carolina 
border. The Cape Fear Arch was tectoni- 
cally active during the Tertiary and into 
the Quaternary as Winker and Howard (1977) 
determined by the presence of tectonically 
deformed Pleistocene shorelines. 

Seismic studies by Meyer (1956) 
identified an uplift of pre-cretaceous 
basement parallel to the present coast 
located along the northern flank of the 
Southeast Georgia Embayment (Fig. 2-16). 
This Yamacraw Uplift appears to intersect 
near Charleston with a north-south 
trending crystalline basement (igneous 
and metamorphic rocks) structure also 
identified by Meyer (1956). Cramer 
(1969) stated that it is not known 
whether the Yamacraw Uplift is pre- 
Cretaceous, Cretaceous, or both. 

B. MINOR STRUCTURAL FEATURES 

Minor structural features affecting 
only Tertiary rocks of the Southeast 
Georgia Embayment (Fig. 2-16) have been 
identified in Beaufort and Jasper 
counties, South Carolina. Siple (1965) 
mapped a structural dome on the Eocene- 
Miocene limestone units in the Beaufort- 
St. Helena Sound region and called it the 
Burton High. Herron and Johnson (1966) 
mapped a structural arch (the Beaufort 
High) on the middle Eocene Santee Forma- 
tion in the same area. This arch dips 
westward into the northeast-southwest 
trending Ridgeland Basin. Colquhoun 
and Comer (1973) found an east-west 
trending arch near Charleston, South 
Carolina, affecting the upper Oligocene 
Cooper Formation and possibly the Santee 
Formation, which they named the Stono 
Arch. They suggest that this structure 
is probably related to a basement 
/ault, 

C. GEOPHYSICS 

1 . Bouguer Gravity Anomalies 

Regional gravity and magnetic data, 
presented in the form of anomaly maps, 
are used to infer structural and litho- 
logic properties of the buried crystalline 
basement. Simple Bouguer gravity anomaly 
maps (differences in the earth's gravi- 
tational acceleration corrected for 
latitude and elevation) of the Sea Island 
Coastal Region (Atlas plate 23A) indicate 



.'i 







HOLOCENE 



PEAT 

PEATY CLAY 
CLAY-S4LT 

SALT MARSH 
PEAT 



OCENE 

CLAYEY SAND 
SANO 
T ROOTING 



10a u 






800 1000 

METERS 



KOOO 4000 
FEET 



Figure 2-15. Stratigraphy of the Snuggedy Swamp peat deposit, Colleton County, South Carolina 
(Staub 1977). 



22 




Figure 2-16. Major tectonic elements of the Southeastern United States and minor tectonic 

features affecting the northern flank of Southeast Georgia Embayment. Structure 
contours are drawn on the top of the pre-Cretaceous basement with elevations in 
meters below sea level (adapted from Popenoe and Zietz 1977). 



23 



the presence of local positive and 
negative anomalies, 5 - 50 km (3.1 - 
31.1 mi) in dimension, caused by major 
geologic structures in the upper 10 - 
20 km (6.2 - 12.4 mi) of the earth's 
crust (Long et al. 1972, Talwani et al. 
1975). These negative simple Bouguer 
anomalies could indicate the existence 
of sedimentary rock basins depressed 
into more dense surrounding igneous 
and metamorphic rock; positive anomalies, 
on the other hand, could indicate 
intrusions of more dense igneous rock 
into less dense surrounding sedimen- 
tary rock. The negative anomalies of -30 
milligal near Georgetown, South Carolina, 
and offshore of Charleston, South 
Carolina, are probably small sedimentary 
basins (possibly Triassic in age). 
The broader, less intense negative 
anomaly of -20 milligal in northern 
coastal Georgia probably reflects granitic 
crystalline bedrock beneath the South- 
east Georgia Embayment. The positive 
anomalies of +70 milligal offshore of 
Georgetown, South Carolina, and of +50 
and +40 milligal in south central 
Georgia probably indicate volcanic plugs 
(igneous rock) within the crystalline 
basement . 

2. Geomagnetic Anomalies 

The regional gravity and magnetic 
anomalies of the Sea Island Coastal 
Region are distinct from those of the 
Appalachian Piedmont . This implies that 
the underlying crystalline basement is 
not a simple continuation/extension of 
the Appalachians (Popenoe and Zietz 1977). 
Aeroraagnetic surveys of the eastern United 
States by the U.S. Naval Oceanographic 
Office between 1964 and 1966 (Taylor 
et al. 1968) identified a major magnetic 
anomaly running along the continental 
slope and turning westward at the 31st 
parallel to cross the Georgia coast near 
Brunswick (Atlas plate 23B ). These 
workers conclude that this anomaly 
represents a felsite igneous body 
intruded along the eastern border of the 
pre-Paleozoic North American landmass. 
This magnetic anomaly coincides with the 
east-west trending positive simple Bouguer 
gravity anomaly in southeastern Georgia. 
In addition, these magnetic data suggest 
1) that a granite crystalline basement 
in northern coastal Georgia, in agreement 
with the negative simple Bouguer gravity 
anomaly and 2) that the isolated, 
positive magnetic anomalies near George- 
town and Charleston, South Carolina, 
associated with positive simple Bouguer 
anomalies, are indeed dense volcanic 
plugs, dikes, or sills. 

D. SEISMICITY 

There are no known major faults or 
even surface exposures of minor ones 
within the Sea Island Coastal Region. 
However, Pleistocene and Holocene tecton- 



ism has affected and continues to affect 
this tectonically quiet geologic province. 
Winker and Howard (1977) have demonstrated 
tectonic deformation of Pleistocene shore- 
line deposits, even of the youngest 
Effingham and Chatham sequences (Fig. 2-1). 
Uplift of the Cape Fear Arch is probably 
responsible for their deformation. In 
1886, Charleston, South Carolina, 
experienced a major earthquake whose epi- 
centers were centered in and about 
Summerville , South Carolina (Figs. 2-17 
and 2-18). At the present time the 
geologic feature responsible for this 
earthquake of X magnitude on the modified 
Mercalli scale is unknown. A description 
of the modified Mercalli intensity scale 
and its correlation with the Richter 
magnitude scale is presented in Table 2-3. 

In their analysis of the Charleston 
area gravity data, Long and Champion 
(1977) identify a northeast-southwest 
trending fault between Summerville and 
Charleston (Fig. 2-19). This fault 
affects the crystalline basement rocks and 
may serve as the northwest boundary of 
the deep sedimentary basin, inferred 
from gravity data, beneath the Charleston 
area. In addition, they identify an 
igneous rock intrusion, oriented east- 
west, located between Summerville and 
Charleston. Reactivation of this base- 
ment fault is a possible cause of the 
1886 and subsequent earthquakes , but 
fracturing of the igneous intrusive mass 
is the more probable mechanism 
(Long and Champion 1977, Rankin 1977). 
Regional stress is concentrated on the 
peripheries of these intrusive igneous 
bodies. The release of this stress by 
fracturing produces the earthquakes. 
Significant earthquakes occurring in 
other essentially stable regions as 
Cape Ann, Massachusetts; New Madrid, 
Missouri; Attica and Massena, New York; 
Baie St. Paul, Quebec; and Anna, Ohio, 
are associated with positive gravity 
anomalies inferred to represent igneous 
intrusive bodies (Kane 1977). 

E. HISTORIC SEALEVEL CHANGES 

Measurements of sealevel position 
(Hicks 1973) at Charleston, Savannah 
River Entrance, and Fernandina Beach, 
Florida, (St. Marys River) indicate a 
net rise since monitoring began in the 
early 1920's (Fig. 2-20). Of course, 
land subsidence cannot be distinguised 
from net sealevel rise in data obtained 
at these mareograph or tide gauging 
stations. Estimates of the net sealevel 
rise attributed solely to true or 
eustatic sealevel events center around 
1 mm (0.04 in) per year (Fairbridge 
1961); thus, measurements made from the 
Sea Island Coastal Region may reflect 
a component of land subsidence as well. 



24 



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CHARLESTON, S.C. EARTHQUAKE" AUGUST 31, 1886 








IK 


TEN 


SITY 


SCALE 








ROSSI-FOREL 


X 


IX* 


VIII* 

-IX- 


VIII 


VI- 
VII 


V- 
VI 


IV- 
V 


III 


l-ll 


MOO.MERCALU 


X 


IX 


VIII 


VII 


VI 


V 


IV 


III 


II 



INTENSITY: X FELT AREA: 2MILLI0N SQ. MILES 



1811 NEW MADRID EQ. ■. XII. 2 MILLION SQ. Ml. 
1906 SAN FRANCISCO EQ. : XI. 375,000 SQ. Ml. 

DEATHS -. ~ 60 DAMAGE :~$5 MILLION 

EPICENTRAL EFFECTS 

•GROUND FISSURES. AND CRATERLETS 

• WATER. SAND. AND MUD FOUNTAINS 

• RAILROAD RAILS BENT. TRACKS DISPLACED 

• LOUD EARTHQUAKE SOUNDS 
•EARTH AND WATER WAVES 

• SULFUR GAS RELEASED 



UNUSUAL ASPECTS 

•REGION ESSENTIALLY FREE OF 

SHOCKS FOR PRECEDING 200 YRS. 
•LARGE FELT AREA 
•DUAL EPICENTRAL POINTS 
• WEST VIRGINIA LOW INTENSITY 



Figure 2-17. Isoseismal map and general description of the 1886 Charleston earthquake 
(adapted from Bollinger 1972). 



IV. 



ECONOMIC MINERAL 
DEPOSITS 



A. PHOSPHORITE (PHOSPHATE ORE) 

The mining of phosphorite or 
phosphate ore began in the Charleston, 
South Carolina, region in 1867 and 
continued up to 1938 (Malde 1959). Two 
main deposits were mined: 1) land 
rock, consisting of phosphate nodules, 
pebbles, and fossils in a matrix of 
unconsolidated sand or localized, 
irregular masses of phosphatized lime- 
stone and 2) river rock, consisting of 
phosphate-rich pebble gravels in present 
stream beds. The land rock was strip 
mined from various Pleistocene deposits, 
e.g., the Ladson Formation (Malde 1959), 
and the river rock was dredged f re m the 
Wando, Stono, and Coosaw rivers (Fig. 
2-21). Some local processing of phos- 
phorite ore into fertilizer was done at 
Charleston along the Ashley River. 
South Carolina phosphate rock production 
data are presented in Table 2-4. 

Phosphorite deposits also occur in 
coastal Georgia although none has been 



commercially exploited to date. The 
recent discovery of a major deposit in 
eastern Chatham County within the Hawthorn 
Formation (Georgia Institute of Technology 
and Georgia Department of Mines, Mining 
and Geology 1968) has sparked renewed 
mining interest in the Chatham-Jasper- 
Beaufort area. Commercial grade deposits 
are located beneath Little Tybee Island 
at depths of 70 - 160 ft (21.3 - 48.8 
m). The Hawthorn Formation underlies 
all of the Georgia Sea Island Coastal 
Region, but only in Chatham and Effingham 
counties is it within 200 ft (61 m) or 
strip-mineable distance of the surface 
(Georgia Department of Mines, Mining 
and Geology 1969). 



K. 



LIMESTONE 



The Santee Formation is quarried for 
cement, agricultural lime, and road metal 
in Georgetown, Berkeley, and Dorchester 
counties, South Carolina. These quarries 
or open pits are kept dry only by 
constant pumping. As the Santee Formation 
is a major aquifer, this pumping has 
caused local wells to go dry in the 
immediate vicinity of certain pits 



^7 



Table 2-4. 



Phosphate rock, in long tons 
(Malde 1959). 



sold and mined in South Carolina 







Amount 


Sold 




Land rock 


River rock 




(Pleistocene 


(Recent 


Year 


deposits) 


deposits ) 


Ending 31 May: 






1867 


6 


- 


1868 


12,262 


- 


1869 


31 


958 


- 


1870 


63 


252 


1,989 


1871 


56 


533 


17,655 


1872 


36 


,258 


22,502 


1873 


33 


,426 


45,777 


1874 


51 


624 


57,716 


1875 


54 


821 


67,969 


1876 


50 


566 


81,912 


1877 


36 


431 


126,569 


1878 


112 


622 


97,700 


1879 


100 


779 


98,586 


1880 


125 


601 


65,162 


1881 


142 


193 


124,541 


1882 


191 


305 


140,772 


1883 


219 


202 


159,178 


1884 


250 


297 


181,482 


1885 


225 


913 


169,490 


Ending 31 December: 








1885 


149 


400 


128,389 


1886 


253 


484 


177,065 


1887 


261 


658 


218,900 


1888 


290 


689 


157,878 


1889 


329 


543 


212,102 


1890 


353 


757 


110,241 


1891 


344 


978 


130,528 


1892 


243 


652 


150,575 


1893 


308 


435 


194,129 


1894 


307 


305 


142,803 


1895 


270 


560 


161,415 


1896 


267 


072 


135,351 


1897 


267 


380 


90,900 


1898 


298 


610 


101,274 


1899 


223 


949 


132,701 


1900 


266 


186 


62,987 


1901 


225 


189 


95,992 


1902 


245 


243 


68,122 


1903 


233 


540 


25,000 


1904 


258 


806 


12,000 


1905 


234 


676 


35,549 


1906 


190 


180 


33,495 


1907 


228 


354 


28,867 


1908 


192 


263 


33,232 


1909 


201 


254 h 
659 b 


6,700 


1910 


179 


c 


1911 


169 


156 


- 


1912 


131 


490 


- 


1913 


109 


333 


- 


1914 


106 


919 


- 


1915 


83 


460 


- 


1916 


53 


047 


- 


1917 


33 


485 


- 


1918 


37 


040 


- 


1919 


60 


823 


- 


1920 


44 


141 


- 


1921 




- 


- 


1922 


1 


500 d 


- 


1923-24 




- 


- 


1925 


2 


147 


- 


1926-37 


- 


- 


1938 




100 


- 



Total 



Amount 
mined 



a 





6 


12 


262 


31 


958 


65 


241 


74 


188 


58 


760 


79 


203 


109 


340 


122 


790 


132 


478 


163 


000 


210 


322 


199 


365 


190 


763 


266 


732 


332 


077 


378 


380 


431 


779 


395 


403 


277 


789 


430 


549 


480 


558 


448 


567 


541 


645 


463 


998 


475 


506 


394 


228 


502 


564 


450 


108 


431 


975 


402 


423 


358 


280 


399 


884 


356 


650 


329 


173 


321 


181 


313 


365 


258 


540 


270 


806 


270 


225 


223 


675 


257 


221 


225 


495 


207 


954 


179 


659 


169 


156 


131 


490 


109 


333 


106 


919 


83 


460 


5 ! 


047 


33 


485 


37 


040 


60 


823 


44 


141 


1 


500 


2 


147 




100 



39,035 
45,541 
33,673 
49,032 
42,709 



2,147 
100 



a. No records kept 1867 - 1915. 

b. Includes a small amount of river rock. 



28 



Included in land rock. 

Sold from stocks of previous years. 




SCALE: 50 100 kilometers 



EARTHQUAKE INTENSITY 
(Mod. Mercalli Scale) 

Felt Reports o 

ll-lll • 

IV-V • 

VI —VI I • 

VIII — IX • 

m 



Figure 2-18. Seismicity of South Carolina and Georgia (Bollinger 1972). 
TIME, years 




St. Marys 

River 
Entrance 



* Curved lines connect yearly values smoothed 
by weighting array. 

Figure 2-20. Sealevel curves for Charles- 
ton, Savannah River Entrance, and 
St. Marys River Entrar ie measured 
by continuous recording tide gauges 
(Hicks 1973). 



(Spigner 1978). Mined material is 
transported to Charleston and other 
areas primarily for construction and 
agricultural purposes. In the 
Harleyvil le-Hol ly Hill region of South 
Carolina, it is locally converted into 
Portland cement. This resource is 
economically very significant since 
cement production from the Santee Forma- 
tion ranks first in value of all minerals 
produced in South Carolina (Sheffer 
1974). However, detailed production 
figures for counties in the Sea Island 
Coastal Region are not available to the 
public (Sheffer 1974). 

C . SAND 

Pleistocene sand deposits are ex- 
cavated near Charleston and Savannah 
and along the major highways for road 
metal, land fill, and construction 
purposes. Most of these operations are 
small in scale and operate for relatively 
short periods of time; detailed production 
data are not presently available for the 
Sea Island Coastal Region. 



[). 



PEAT 



Peat is mined from Snuggedy Swamp, 
Colleton County, South Carolina, and 
sold for use in general soil improvement. 
Today the U.S. Peat Corporation has 
2,200 acres (890 ha) under lease and 
actively dredges and reclaims 10 acres 
yr (4.1 ha/yr). Production data for 
this operation from 1973 to 1977 are 
given below: 



."-> 




■ I«M IMteiua 

90 UMtlC MTfNtlTY 
ACCMOIM TO tLOAM {WTTM MM) 
MR MM IMTMMMM 



W4MIMB t«*VITT_llO«*L . IN muiMLI 



» 4 e • 10 

KILOMCTKM 



Figure 2-19. Detailed Bouguer gravity map of the Summerville , South Carolina, region encompassing 
the 1886 Charleston earthquake epicenters (adapted from Long and Champion 1977). The 
basement fault is one possible cause of the 1886 and subsequent earthquakes. 



u, 











80° 


00' 








N:\* 








J /, 








? B E 


rV. 


/K E L E Y^ 






1 '( \^ 


i ft 


^ i SUMMERVILLE 








3 V 


X> M 'V ■ 


*%^ 






3S° 


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h^ >^k \ v> 


^*s ^ 


if}— s (V/ tr 


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Nl 


| 3) \* ., 












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#0 


^ 


>LV ^ - 












y$ 


^ J 


















^ K^ 








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c t> -^ 






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0° 








sis. <r3$5a^fr//^\ W\ 






» C 










W 1 ii T^fct- 




t 


wm 






MAuFowtgrv jr^orj 




K ^ 




LAND ROCK 






~Sc?a. 'Sjtrfyr \<; 




fv 




(Density of pattern indicates 








. V 




value of deposit) 










^ 
> 




RIVER ROCK 












10 







Ml LEI 






















80° 


00 







Figure 2-21. Map showing the approximate original distribution of phosphorite 
deposits in South Carolina (Rogers 1914). 



YEAR 


SHORT TON 


1973 


14,000 


1974 


18,000 


1975 


12,000 


1976 


12,000 


1977 


14,000 



This deposit's geology (Fig. 2-15) has 
been described in some detail by Staub 
(1977). (See Holocene Stratigraphy for 
additional information on the geology 
of this deposit.) 



V. GROUNDWATER 

Groundwater may well b the most 
important natural economic rescource of 
the Sea Island Coastal Region. Abundant 
quantities of high quality water are 
available from various aquifers (Atlas 
plate 20). Information regarding 
withdrawals, water quality, number of 
wells, etc. is largely restricted to 



the deeper aquifers although the 
shallow or surface aquifers are 
utilized extensively. 

A. PRINCIPAL ARTESIAN AQUIFER 

Limestones of upper and middle 
Eocene age (Santee Formation and the 
Ocala Group) comprise the Principal 
Artesian Aquifer of coastal Georgia 
and southeastern South Carolina. In 
Florida this aquifer is known as the 
Floridian Aquifer. The Principal 
Artesian Aquifer, as the name implies, 
is under a confining pressure or head 
such that water in wells rises above 
the upper surface of the aquifer (Fig. 
2-22). Throughout much of the Georgia 
Sea Island Coastal Region this original 
head was so great that wells were free 
flowing at the surface. Extensive 
utilization of this aquifer has resulted 
in a continuous decline in head, with 
marked cones of depression near major 
well fields at Savannah, Brunswick, and 



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St. Marys, Georgia (Fig. 2-22). The 
recharge area of the Principal Artesian 
Aquifer is located in the upper coastal 
plain beyond the limits of the Sea 
Island Coastal Region (Fig. 2-23). 



B. 



MESOZOIC SANDSTONE AQUIFERS 



Aquifers other than the Principal 
Artesian Aquifer are exploited in 
South Carolina. Sandstones within the 
Cretaceous Tuscaloosa and Black Creek 
Formation serve as the primary artesian 
aquifers (Fig. 2-23) in coastal South 
Carolina (Siple 1975, Spigner et al. 
1977, Hayes 1977). The water quality 
is variable (Fig. 2-24) with certain 
aquifers suitable for municipal drinking 
purposes (e.g., the Black Creek Aquifer 
at Mt . Pleasant, South Carolina), and 
others only for agricultural purposes 
(e.g., the Tuscaloosa Aquifer is used 
to supply water for golf courses). The 
recharge area of these aquifers is the 
upper coastal plain, beyond the limits 
of the Sea Island Coastal Region, and 
the presence of ancient saline formation 
waters within them indicates that they 
have not as yet been uniformly flushed 
with fresh groundwater. 

C. SALTWATER ENCROACHMENT 

Saline water encroachment upon 
the potable water-producing zones of the 
Principal Artesian Aquifer has been 
observed in the Hilton Head-Port Royal 
Sound Region of Beaufort County, South 
Carolina, and at Brunswick, Georgia. 
This encroachment results from 1) present- 
day ocean water entering the aquifer, 
and/or 2) ancient saline formation 
water, trapped during deposition of the 



sedimentary rocks and unflushed by fresh 
groundwater entering from adjacent 
aquifers. Using geochemical and 
isotopic analyses of the saline waters, 
Back et al. (1970) concluded that 
present day ocean water is entering 
the Principal Artesian Aquifer under 
Port Royal Sound and is moving towards 
the cone of depression at Savannah 
(Fig. 2-25). This rate of movement, 
assuming current pumping levels 
remain constant, is such that salt 
water in the upper zones of the 
Principal Artesian Aquifer should reach 
Savannah in 400 years and in the lower 
zones in 90 years (McCollum and Counts 
1964). At Brunswick, Georgia, however, 
Stewart (1960), Wait (1962), and 
Hanshaw et al. (1965) concluded from 
geochemical and isotopic evidence that 
the encroaching saline waters came from 
deeper aquifers and not the present- 
day ocean. The presence of ancient 
saline formation waters in adjacent 
aquifers (Siple 1967) further 
complicates the problem of saltwater 
encroachment (Figs. 2-26 and 2-27). 
This encroachment can take place 
anywhere hydrodynamic conditions favor 
the migration of water from adjacent 
aquifers into potable water-producing 
aquifers and not just immediatley along 
the coast. 



D. 



ECONOMIC VALUE 



The economic value of the ground- 
water resource may be estimated from the 
present 341.2 million gal/day 
pumping rate (Park 1979) over the 
Sea Island Coastal Region (Atlas 
plate 20) . Using a cost figure of 
$0.13/1000 gal (B. C. Spigner, 1979, 



NORTHWEST 

R»chorg»orao LOUISVILLE 



SOUTHEAST 



STATESBORO 



0ri S inq|j)jaiqm»1ri_c surfoc* 



SAVANNAH 




S»a l»vtl 



*Oft 



' "luiU, 



Figure 2-25. Diagrammatic cross section of the Principal Artesian Aquifer 
from its recharge region to the Georgia coast (adapted from 
Counts and Donsky 1963). 



33 




All *ond* greater than 
250mQ/l chloride Dieeolved 
solids greater than 500 mg/l. 

Upper tandt lee* than 250 
mg/l. Lower sonde ealty. 
Dissolved solids may be 
greater than 500 mg/l. 

Upper and middle sand* lees 
than 250mg/l chloride Lower 
sands greater than 250 mg/l 
chloride. 

All sands usually contotn treeh 
water Lowermost sands may 
locally contain salty water 

A Well ueed as control point. 

__|Q—— Potentiometric contour 



Figure 2-24. Potentiometric and water quality map of major sands in the Cretaceous Black Creek 

Aquifer system in Horry and Georgetown counties (adapted from Spigner et al. 1977). 
The potentiometric contours represent the distance relative to mean sea level that 
water rises in wells. 



W 




* ' t e 



MILtl 



It4 



FLOW PATHS 

IMO 




IOOO Ff ET 



Figure 2-25. 



Groundwater movement within the Principal Artesian Aquifer in the Hilton Head-Port 
Royal Sound region of Beaufort County, South Carolina (adapted from Back et al. 1970), 
The reversal of flow direction, ocean-water intrusion beneath Port Royal Sound, and 
the freshwater recharge on Hilton Head are all considered to be direct results of 
the utilization of this aquifer at Savannah, Georgia, since 1880. 



15 



NORTHEAST 

OCEAN MYRTLE GEORGE- 
DRI VE BEACH TOWN 



SOUTHWEST 

CHARLESTON PARRIS 

ISLAND 

f£ S«o L«v«l-i «' 

2160 




25 

r I i i t i 



25 

=3 



MILES 



3450' 



0' 

200' 
400' 
600' 
BOO' 
1000' 
1 200' 
1400' 
1600' 

- I 800' 

- 2000' 

- 22O0 1 



Figure 2-26. Ouality of the groundwater in coastal South Carolina (adapted from Siple 1967). The 

salt waters present are primarily ancient, unflushed formation waters and not recently 
intruded, present-day ocean waters. Numbers refer to chloride concentration in parts 
per million. 



\h 



NORTH CAROLINA 









UJ 

o 

§ E 

o < 

£ °- 

x 
o 




a. 
eg 





01 

u 



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hi 

d 

4J 
re 

3 

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'• 7 



South Carolina Water Resources 
Commission, Columbia, pers. coram. ) 
the annual value of this resource is 
$16 million. This amount does not take 
into account the value of industrial 
production located in this region 
because of the abundant quantities of 
high quality groundwater or the 
potential cost to municipalities for 
alternate water supplies if potable 
groundwater were not available. Surface 
water utilization, according to Park 
(1979), is 778 million gal/day over 
the Sea Island Coastal Region (Atlas 
plate 20A). 

E. MANAGEMENT 

The Georgia Environmental Protection 
Division has formulated its management 
plans for groundwater management from 
data supplied by the Georgia Geological 
Survey Branch and the United States 
Geological Survey. The Georgia Ground- 
water Use Act of 1972 was amended in 
1973 to eliminate capacity use areas 
and to require all groundwater users 
withdrawing more than 100,000 gal/day 
(except for agriculture and poultry 
processing) to obtain a permit. 

Management activities in South 
Carolina have been conducted primarily 
through technical assistance programs 
of the South Carolina Department of 
Health and Environmental Control 
(SCDHEC) and the South Carolina 
Water Resources Commission (SCWRC). 
Authority to manage groundwater 
quality is available to the SCDHEC 
through the South Carolina Ground- 
water Use Act of 1969. This Act 
allows the SCWRC to request 
designation of "capacity use areas" 
and require current and prospective 
users to obtain permits. No such 
area has been designated in South 
Carolina as yet, but one has been 
recommended for the Horry County and 
Georgetown County region (Spigner 
et al. 1977). 

Park (1979) designated four 
levels of groundwater data for the 
Sea Island Coastal Region: 

1) Field data: various file data 
exist but have not been completely 
field checked and verified for accuracy. 

2) Reconnaissance : generalized 
groundwater studies have been completed 
and published or open-file reports are 
available . 

3) Planning: the hydrology 

of aquifer systems and the relationship 
between hydro-geology and groundwater 
quality is known and described in 
published reports. 



4) Management : a descriptive 
or computer analog model of all principal 
aquifer systems is available to describe 
the water balance, the surface water- 
groundwater relationship, and the 
man-made and natural stresses on 
hydrologic conditions and water quality. 

Field data exist for Colleton and 
Jasper counties, South Carolina, and 
for Camden and Effingham counties, 
Georgia. Reconnaissance-level data 
exist for Beaufort County, South 
Carolina. Management-level data are 
available for Chatham, Bryan, Liberty, 
Mcintosh, and Glynn counties, Georgia. 
These levels of groundwater data for 
the Sea Island Coastal Region are 
presented on Atlas plate 20F . 



18 



CHAPTER THREE 
SOILS 

INTRODUCTION 



I, 



A knowledge of soils found within the 
Sea Island Coastal Region is important to 
sound land use planning and habitat 
evaluation. The physical and chemical 
properties of soils strongly influence the 
distribution of plants and animals within 
the region. The depth of the water 
table and drainage characteristics are 
particularly important in determining the 
value and vulnerability of Sea Island 
Coastal Region soils to potential uses by 
man. 



A. 



SOIL STRUCTURE 



Soil, when viewed in vertical section 
as on a cut bank or ditch, is composed of 
three distinct horizontal layers which 
often are discernible by differences in 
color. These layers are referred to as 
"horizons" (Fig. 3-1). The sequence of 
horizons from surface to unmodified 
parent material is referred to as the 
soil profile. The topsoil layer which 
is composed primarily of the remains of 
plants and animals undergoing humification 
is termed the A horizon. The A horizon 
can be subdivided into Aq-. (litter), 
Aq2 (duff), A03 (leaf mold), A^ (humus), 
and A2 (leached zone). Each of these 
subdivisions represents a stage of 
progressive humification increasing 
from Aqi to A2 . Beneath the A horizon 
is the B horizon or zone of minerali- 
zation which is composed of mineral 
soil in which the organic compounds 
have been converted into inorganic 
compounds by decomposers, and mixed 
with finely divided parent material. 
The water soluble materials present in 
the B horizon frequently are formed in 
the A horizon and "leached" by the down- 
ward movement of water into the B horizon. 
Below the B horizon is the parent 
material or C horizon. The parent 
material of the C horizon may have been 
transported to its present site by 
gravity (colluvial deposit), water 
(alluvial deposit), glaciers (glacial 
deposit), wind (aeolian deposit or 
loess), or it may be an original 
mineral formation subjected to the soil- 
forming process (Odum 1971, Wilkes et al. 
1974). 



B. 



SOIL CLASSIFICATION 



Many dozens of soil types occur within 
a given county as a result of variations 
in parent material, topography, and 
vegetative community. These types are 
called soil series. Each soil series name 
usually includes the geographical locality 
where the series was first described 
and an indication of the texture of soil, 



for example, "Pelham Loamy Sand." Soil 
series are sometimes grouped into 
"associations" which occur together in 
certain areas, such as the "Crevasse- 
Dawhoo" or "Lakeland-Chipley" 
associations . 

Classification of soil types has 
become a highly complex and empirical 
subjtct, a detailed description of which 
is beyond the scope of this chapter. 
A detailed description of soil taxonomy 
can be found in Soil Taxonomy (U.S. 
Department of Agriculture, Soil 
Conservation Service 1975). 



II. SOIL FORMATION 

Biotic and abiotic components 
of soil are intimately related. Soil 
is an important environmental factor 
for the resident biota and is in turn 
influenced by them. Permanent 
differences in biotic communities are 
directly correlated with differences 
in soil series (Odum 1971). (See 
Volume III, Chapter Six, Upland 
Ecosystem for a discussion of soil 
fauna.) Soil is the net result of the 
actions of climate and organisms on 
the parent material of the earth's 
crust over time (Fig. 3-1). 

Soils of the Sea Island Coastal 
Region are formed from materials that 
were deposited during the various stages 
of coastal submersion (Hoyt 1968). 
During each stage of submersion the 
formation of new lagoons, marshes, and 
barrier islands promoted sorting and 
mixing of the coastal deposits. As the 
sea retreated during the late Pleistocene, 
the soil forming processes began to 
develop the soils we observe today. The 
soils vary from sand-clay mixtures with 
distinct horizon development to soils of 
predominantly quartz sand with indistinct 
horizon development. (For a more detailed 
discussion of Pleistocene geologic 
history, see Chapter Two of this volume.) 



The Sea Is 
warm and humid 
mild winters. 
[45 - 50 in (17 
and the soils a 
most of the yea 
rapid decay of 
minerals, solut 
location of cla 
permeability ar 
Abundant rainfa 
of cations like 
surface layers , 
H+ and increasi 
1974). 



land Coastal Region is 
with long hot summers and 
Rainfall is abundant 

7 - 19.7 cm) per year] 
re moist or saturated 

This climate favors 
organic materials and 
ion of bases, and trans- 
ys. Soils with high 
e highly leached. 
11 increases leaching 
Mg++ and Ca++ from 
replacing them with 
ng acidity (Wilkes et al. 



Relief affects soil formation 
through influence on drainage, runoff, 
erosion, and percolation of water and 
air. Narrow ridges and slopes are 



;■> 



(f( 

NITROGEN \ \\ 



/ • ^ — «. \ \ \ 




i > 



y I J CARBON DIOXIDE 

-&' / 

SUNLIGHT 1 TRANSPIRATION 



ORGANIC MATTER AND 
MINERALS RETURN TO SOIL 




H 8 «re M . „,,.,„., „„ biologieal processes _ ithin ^^ ^ ^^^^ ^ ^ ^ 



40 



characteristically low in organic accumu- 
lations. Low areas and depressions may 
tend to accumulate organic materials 
since the soils are poorly drained and 
remain wet for extended periods. Decom- 
positional processes are subsequently 
retarded and peat formation results. 
The gray mottles or gray coloration 
observed in poorly drained soils are the 
result of oxygen removal from aluminum 
and iron compounds. Well-drained soils 
have oxygen-rich conditions and tend to 
exhibit yellow to red colors with no 
gray mottles to a depth of 3 - 4 ft (0.9 
- 1.2 m) (Byrd et al. 1961). 

Plants supply organic material 
through decomposition of surface litter 
by soil organisms, including fungi, 
bacteria, and small animals. The accumu- 
lation of surface litter is essentially 
a function of the type of plant community 
present. Accumulated humus can act as 
an effective nutrient trap preventing 
nutrients from leaching out of the 
surface layers of the soil. Sandy soils 
are particularly subject to excessive 
nutrient leaching in the absence of a 
humus layer (Odum 1971). 

The alteration of parent material 
by soil forming processes over time 
results in horizon development. The 
features of the various soil types or 
series in a given area are the result of 
the dominating soil forming processes 
in that area. The length of time that 
geologic materials have remained in 
place is reflected in the distinctness 
of the horizons in the soil profile. 



III. 



SOILS OF SEA ISLAND 
COASTAL REGION 



Within the Sea Island Coastal Region, 
the soils found are Pleistocene and 
Holocene in age. The soils of the 
mainland and the sea islands, as well as 
some of the barrier islands, were laid 
down during the Pleistocene period at 
least 25,000 to 35,000 years ago (Hoyt 
1968). Other barrier island soils are 
of more recent origin, having been laid 
down during the recent or Holocene 
period within the last 4,000 to 5,000 
years. Marshland soils are also of 
Holocene origin (Hoyt 1968). For an 
overview of the soils found in the Sea 
Island Coastal Region, see Table 3-1 
and Atlas Plate 19A. 

A. PLEISTOCENE AND HOLOCENE SOILS 

1. Mainland 

Pleistocene mainland soils exhibit 
more distinct horizon development and 
diversity of soil series than Pleistocene 
soils of the sea islands. Sandy to 
loamy acid soils predominate in level to 



gently sloping mainland areas. Horizon 
development and the presence of loam 
are indicative of these more mature 
soils. Sandy surface layers over loamy 
subsoils predominate in some areas, 
while soils sandy throughout predominate 
in other areas. The soil series charac- 
teristic of the mainland areas are 
closely associated with natural drainage 
characteristics. Generally, the soils 
are saturated or seasonally wet except 
on the slight ridges where drainage is 
good. Most of the soils are acid to 
strongly acid, and moderately to poorly 
suited for farming and woodland development 
(Miller 1971, Wilkes et al. 1974). 

2. Island 

The soils of the islands are less 
diverse and horizon development is less 
distinct than in mainland soils (Johnson 
et al. 1974). Relief is slight and the 
soils are level to depressional sandy 
surface layers over sandy to loamy 
subsoil. The soils are acid except 
where quantities of shell are present. 
Accumulations of organic materials are 
slight except in the depressional areas 
where the soil is saturated during much 
or all of the year. Many of the soils 
lack a well-defined B horizon (Miller 
1971, Wilkes et al. 1974). The types 
or series of soils present are closely 
related to drainage and the proximity 
to the surface of the island water table. 

The seaward fringes of the sea 
islands, and in some cases entire barrier 
islands, are composed of Holocene deposits 
of almost pure quartz sand. Due to the 
comparatively recent origin of the soils, 
horizon development is slight and con- 
sequently the soil series are diverse. 
The soils are acidic and sandy throughout, 
with only slight accumulations of organic 
material. The topography is dominated by 
a complex of dune ridges and swales or 
bays. The dune ridges are excessively 
drained to well-drained, and the swales 
are moderately to poorly drained. 
Standing water is basically indicative 
of the water table rather than impervious 
soil layers (Miller 1971, Wilkes et al. 
1974). 

3. Tidal Marsh 

The tidal marsh soils are of Holocene 
origin and consist of a sediment layer 
deposited over an older Pleistocene 
sand layer (Hoyt 1968). The marsh 
sediments are fine sand, clay, and organic 
deposits in various percentages (Teal 
and Kanwisher 1961). The higher marsh 
areas contain up to 70% (wet weight) 
water. 

Sediments in tidal marsh consist of 
two distinct layers. The top few 
centimeters are subject to aeration and 



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leaching and exhibit a dark brown color. 
Below the aerated layer are black 
sediments rich in reduced compounds 
resulting from anaerobic decomposition 
of organic matter. These are principally 
the sulfides of iron and other metals 
in the soils. 

The pH of the marsh sediments of 
the anaerobic layer is neutral to slightly 
alkaline. If the sediments are subjected 
to drying and consequent aeration, the 
pH is lowered as the sulfides are oxidized 
to form sulfates, including sulfuric 
acid. In diked and drained areas, the 
pH may drop to 2.0 and the resulting 
soil is known as cat clay, a soil in 
which plant growth can be inhibited for 
many years (Edelman and Van Staveren 
1958). Cat clays usually result from 
attempts to utilize marshlands for 
agriculture or other land-use practices. 
Cat clays or acid sulfate soils may 
result from impoundment construction or 
management when the marsh sediments are 
allowed to dry for as little as 3 - 4 
months (Czyscinski 1975). On refilling, 
the cat clay soil may result in acidifi- 
cation of the water, limiting the uses 
of the impoundments. 

Neutralizing the cat clay acid 
sulfate soils may require as much as 
20 tons of lime/acre (44 metric tons/ha) 
(Wilkes et al. 1974) or 3 - 4 years of 
tidal flushing (Czyscinski 1975). Drying 
may not be a prerequisite for oxidation 
and consequent cat clay development. 
Introduction of oxygenated fresh water 
into impounded marshes may result in 
oxidation and acidification without 
drying (Czyscinski 1975). Potential 
formation of cat clays must be considered 
in land-use planning. Additionally, 
formation of cat clays is a potential 
impact of Santee Rediversion. See 
Chapter Six of this volume for a dis- 
cussion of physical impacts of the Corps 
of Engineers' Santee Rediversion Project. 



B. 



NUTRIENT DYNAMICS 



The sandy soils of the Sea Island 
Coastal Region tend to be droughty or 
low in water retention when well-drained, 
particularly on the barrier islands 
where quartz sand is predominant. 
Capillary action in sandy soils is low 
while percolation is rapid. Consequently, 
the water retention qualities of the soils 
are low in the well-drained areas 
(Buckman and Brady 1968). 

Nutrients are rapidly leached from 
the surface layer of sandy soils to sub- 
surface layers or to the water table. 
The ion exchange capacity of sand is low, 

since sand grains have few binding sites 

+ + ++ ++ 
to which K , Na , Ca , and Mg ions 

can be bound. Nutrients may be leached 

before becoming available to the root 



systems of plants and soil fungi. 

The presence of clay or loam in 
mainland soils retards the leaching of 
nutrients which then accumulate in the 
B horizon and are thus available to 
plants. The B horizon is absent 
entirely in the sandy Holocene soils 
of the barrier islands, and plants are 
primarily dependent on a continuous 
nutrient input from decaying surface 
litter. If the surface litter is removed, 
nutrient depletion generally is the 
result (Buckman and Brady 1968). 



C. 



BIOLOGICAL IMPACTS OF ACID SOILS 



The general acidity of the soils of 
the Sea Island Coastal Region is an 
indication of the following conditions 
(Buckman and Brady 1968): 

1) a loss of exchangeable bases 

++ ++ 
(Ca , Mg ) from well-drained 

soils ; 

2) increased solubility of trace 
elements resulting in potentially 
toxic levels of Al , Fe , and 

Mn for some plant species; 

3) a loss of available phosphate 
since low pH causes phosphate 
to complex as insoluble 
compounds ; and 

4) reduced bacterial nitrogen 
fixation, resulting in reduction 
in total soil nitrogen. 

The well-drained sandy soils of the 
sea islands, and particularly the Holocene 
barrier island soils, are low in inherent 
buffering capacity. Consequently, 
they are vulnerable to rapid pH changes 
initiated by disturbance of the soil. 
Landscaping, sewage disposal, and 
agricultural practices may have drastic 
effects on soil pH (Buckman and Brady 
1968). Plants are sensitive to changes 
in soil pH (Russell and Russell 1950). 
Sensitive ecological elements may be 
adversely affected by intensive 
management or development of the island 
soils. 



IV. SUMMARY: 
USE AND MANAGEMENT OF SOILS 

Soil properties, such as perme- 
ability, size of soil particle, bearing 
strength, pH, and depth to water table, 
impose limitations on land use. 
Therefore, soil surveys, containing highly 
specific information on soil properties, 
are of interest in agriculture, engineer- 
ing and construction, and other land uses 
such as recreation, wildlife management, 
and woodland development. Because of the 



44 



great diversity of soil types or series 
in relatively small areas, these detailed 
surveys must be consulted prior to eco- 
logical studies or management decisions. 
The soil surveys, prepared by the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture, Soil Conser- 
vation Service, and cooperating agri- 
cultural experiment stations, are either 
published or in progress for the counties 
within the Sea Island Coastal Region. 
Addresses of local Soil Conservation 
Service offices in the Sea Island Coastal 
Region are presented in the Directory 
of Information Sources. 



45 



CHAPTER FOUR 
REGIONAL CLIMATIC TRENDS 

I. INTRODUCTION 

The climates of South Carolina and 
Georgia are generally pleasant with short, 
mild winters and warm, humid summers. 
In both States the southerly latitude, 
proximity of the ocean, and elevation 
are the determining climatic factors. 
Mountains up to 1067 m (3500 ft) in 
South Carolina and 1524 m (5000 ft) in 
Georgia are located about 387 km (240 mi) 
and 290 km (180 mi) from the coast, 
respectively. The mountains in South 
Carolina tend to serve as a barrier to 
cold air masses from the north and west, 
whereas Georgia mountains have less of 
an influence. 

The mountains and the Bermuda high 
pressure system tend to retard the 
progress of cold fronts into coastal 
areas of both States, producing relatively 
mild, temperate winters. Summer, though 
warm and humid, is relatively moderate in 
contrast to more inland areas outside the 
influence of the ocean. 



II. TEMPERATURE 
A. MAXIMA AND MINIMA 



average, only 15 days a year have 
temperature minima as low as freezing 
(Carter 1967). Temperature maxima are 
also moderated by the ocean, since the 
Golden Isles are the only location in 
Georgia south of Atlanta with a July 
average maximum <33 C (90 F) (Carter 
1967). 



B. 



NEGATIVE TEMPERATURE DEPARTURES 
FROM NORMAL 



While the weather tends to be mild 
overall, the 15-year period from 1958 - 
1972 was colder than usual for South 
Carolina and Georgia. Using temperature 
normals for the 1931 - 1960 period for 
comparison purposes, Landers (1973) has 
shown that South Carolina temperatures 
were 0.7° - 1.1°C (1.3° - 1.9 6 F) below 
normal while Georgia temperatures were 
0.7° - 1.3°C (1.2 8 - 2.3°F) below normal. 
The average annual negative temperature 
departure from normal for 1958 - 1972 
indicates that the Sea Island Coastal 
Region exhibited a somewhat lower 
temperature departure than did inland 
areas, where the temperature departures 
averaged 0.8°C (1.5°F) or more (Landers 
1973). Although the reasons for the 
lower temperatures are not known at 
this time, it may be that such phenomena 
are quite common, following a cyclic 
schedule in the same manner as sunspots 
or periods of drought. 



Temperatures in the Sea Island 
Coastal Region are moderated primarily 
by marine influences, as described 
above. For the most part, temperature 
maxima are lower and minima higher 
along the coast than inland, as 
illustrated by 30-year average 
temperatures (Atlas plate 26A,B,C,D). 
In general, temperature extremes have 
not occurred along the coast, i.e., 
maximum summer and minimum winter 
temperatures have been at inland 
locations (Tables 4-1 and 4-2). 
Maximum winter temperatures have, on 
the other hand, occurred at coastal 
sites or near coastal sites (Tables 4-1 
and 4-2). 

Additional examples of the marine 
influence on climate are evident in the 
freeze-free or growing period. In 
South Carolina, the freeze-free period 
is 225 days in Greenville (U.S. Depart- 
ment of Commerce, NOAA 1976a) and 294 
days in Charleston (U.S. Department 
of Commerce, NOAA 1976b). A similar 
effect is evident in Georgia, where the 
freeze-free period varies from 170 days 
in the mountains to about 300 days 
along the coast (Carter 1974). 

The region best illustrating the 
clir.iatic moderating effects of the ocean 
is the Golden Isles of Georgia. On the 



III. 



RELATIVE HUMIDITY 



Even though temperatures are not 
extreme, relative humidity in South 
Carolina and Georgia is frequently high 
enough to produce very muggy conditions 
in the summer and dank conditions during 
the winter. Relative humidity varies less 
from location to location than diurnally 
(Tables 4-3 and 4-4). Humidity is 
generally highest during the summer 
throughout each State, but summer humidity 
is not necessarily as high on the coast 
as inland (Table 4-4). 



IV. RAINFALL 

A. VARIABILITY 

Rainfall, unlike humidity, varies 
greatly with location and season (Tables 
4-5 and 4-6). General trends for South 
Carolina and Georgia indicate maximum 
rainfall in mountainous areas, minimum 
rainfall inland along the coastal plain, 
and moderate rainfall elsewhere (Atlas 
plate 26E). Spring is normally the 
driest period of the year in both States, 
especially along the coast (Tables 4-5 
and 4-6). 

Rainfall, though usually moderate 
in South Carolina and Georgia, has at 



46 



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48 



Table 4-3. South Carolina average relative humidity at 1300 
hours (Landers 1974). 



Relative Diurnal 

Location Month Humidity (%) Range (%) 

Columbia April 54 28 

July 58 35 

October 51 40 

December 52 35 

April 50 30 

July 64 28 

October 56 33 

December 54 30 



a. Located within the Sea Island Coastal Region. 



Table 4-4. Georgia average relative humidity at 1300 hours 
(Carter 1966). 







Relativ 


e 


D 


iurnal 


Location 


Season 


Humidity 


(%) 


Ra: 


nge (%) 


Atlanta 


Spring 


54 






31 




Summer 


63 






31 




Fall 


S3 






34 




Winter 


58 






24 


Savannah 


Spring 


51 






38 




Summer 


SM 






34 




Fall 


54 






3b 




Winter 


57 






32 



a. Located within the Sea Island Coastal Region. 



Table 4-5 South Carolina precipitation averages in cm (in), 1941 - 1970 (U.S. 
Department of Commerce, NOAA 1973a). 



Location January April July October Annual 

Beaufort 3 7.90 (3.11) 6.88 (2.71) 18.3 (7.22) 6.63 (2.61) 124.7 (49.08) 

Caesars Head 15.80 (6.23) 16.00 (6.29) 20.3 (8.00) 13.90 (5.48) 196.0 (77.17) 

Charleston City 3 6.81 (2.68) 6.86 (2.70) 19.3 (7.60) 7.65 (3.01) 124.3 (48.92) 

Columbia 8.74 (3.44) 8.92 (3.51) 14.4 (5.65) 6.55 (2.58) 117.8 (46.36) 

Spartanburg 9.88 (3.89) 10.70 (4.23) 11.5 (4.54) 7.85 (3.09) 121.4 (47.78) 

a. Located within the Sea Island Coastal Region. 



49 



times reached extreme proportions 
(Tables 4-7 and 4-8). The coastal region 
of each State (Atlas plate 26E ) generally 
receives about 127 cm (50 in) per year, 
with the state-wide annual averages 
being about the same. Variability in 
rainfall with time and location is quite 
high; hence, deviations from normal 
rainfall are not rare or unusual. 

B. OCCURRENCES OF DROUGHT CONDITIONS 

In spite of the apparent abundance 
of precipitation in South Carolina and 
Georgia, droughts are by no means rare. 
The problem is one of distribution, 
i.e., some months receive excessive 
amounts of rain, while others scarcely 
have a shower. Utilizing 25 years of data 
from 32 stations, Van Bavel and Carreker 
(1957) found that in 5 out of 10 years in 
Georgia there are usually 60 - 70 days of 
drought in the central portion of the 
State and 50 - 60 in the lower third of 
the State. Examples of extremely dry 
conditions can be seen in the records 
of several stations in the Sea Island 
Coastal Region (Tables 4-9 and 4-10). 



VII. TORNADOES 



A. 



INCIDENCE 



Storms of many types have played 
an important part in the history of the 
Sea Island Coastal Region, ranging from 
dramatic, but generally nondestructive, 
thunderstorms to devastating tropical 
cyclones. Tornadoes have occasionally 
hit coastal counties in conjunction with 
thunderstorms and hurricanes, with the 
most frequent occurrence being in con- 
junction with violent spring thunderstorms. 
For the period 1950 - 1976, only six 
South Carolina counties had 10 or more 
confirmed tornadoes, two of which were 
coastal counties (Atlas plate 26F). During 
the period 1953 - 1976, South Carolina 
had 2.95 tornadoes per 25,900 km 2 (10,000 
mi ) , whereas Georgia had 3.62 per 
25,900 km (U.S. Department of Commerce, 
NOAA 1977). In comparison, the average 
for the nation was 1.96 tornadoes per 
25,900 km 2 for the period 1953 - 1976, 

while the maximum average was 7.90 tornadoes 

7 
per 25,900 km for Oklahoma during the 

same period (U.S. Department of Commerce, 

NOAA 1977). 



OTHER PRECIPITATION 



B. 



GEORGIA TORNADO BELT 



Other forms of precipitation, such 
as snow and hail, are normally 
negligible in South Carolina and Georgia. 
Except in thunderstorms, hail is rare 
and normally not large in size. Snow, 
although somewhat uncommon, occurs 
occasionally in conjunction with freezing 
rain and sleet, usually as scattered 
snow flurries. Along the coast snowfall 
seldom is great and generally does not 
accumulate on the ground. An exception 
occurred during February 1973 when 12.7 - 
45.7 cm (5.0 - 18.0 in) of snow fell in 
the low country of South Carolina, with 
25.4 cm (10.0 in) falling on 1 day in 
Walterboro (U.S. Department of Commerce, 
NOAA 1975). During this same snow storm, 
8.1 cm (3.2 in) of snow fell in Savannah, 
Georgia (U.S. Department of Commerce, 
NOAA 1976c), while Macon, Georgia, received 
41.9 cm (16.5 in) (U.S. Department of 
Commerce, NOAA 1976d). 



VI, 



WIND PATTERNS 



Wind data for South Carolina and 
Georgia indicate a high degree of 
variability, although some recognizable 
trends do exist (Atlas plate 26G). In 
South Carolina the inland wind regime is 
one of southwesterlies and northeaster- 
lies, while coastal winds are more 
evenly distributed over all directions. 
Georgia wind patterns are generally 
different from those in South Carolina, 
although some similarities exist (Atlas 
plate z6G ) . A comparison of several 
locations is presented in Table 4-11. 



In Georgia, unlike South Carolina, 
most tornadoes appear to occur in a 
"tornado belt" about 97 km (60 mi) wide, 
parallel to and slightly south of the 
Appalachian Mountains (Armstrong 1953). 
There has been a concentration of 
tornadoes in the general area around 
Atlanta, with few occurring along the 
coast (Atlas plate 26F). While it is 
true that sparsely populated areas have 
fewer tornado sightings due to a lack 
of observers, other populous areas 
besides Atlanta, such as Augusta and 
Savannah, have experienced a signifi- 
cantly lower number of tornadoes. 
Hence, the concept of a "tornado belt" 
is reasonable for Georgia. 

C. HISTORICAL DATA 

Although tornadoes accompanying 
hurricanes are not common, there have 
been several occurrences reported in 
South Carolina. There were four 
tornadoes associated with a hurricane 
in 1935, two with Hurricane Connie in 
1955, and six with tropical storm Cleo 
in 1964 (Purvis 1977). For hurricane- 
spawned tornadoes and tornadoes in 
general, the data for South Carolina 
suggest that there have been more 
tornadoes in the last two decades than 
during similar periods in previous years, 
i.e., 208 for 1956 - 1976 (Purvis 1977) 
compared with 252 for 1916 - 1970 
(Landers 1974). The same situation 
exists in Georgia, where about 227 
tornadoes were reported between 1884 and 
1952 (Armstrong 1953) and 511 between 



Ml 



Table 4-6. Georgia precipitation averages in cm (in), 1941 - 1970 (U.S. Department 
of Commerce, NOAA 1973b). 



Location 



Janua 



DL 



April 



July 



October 



Annual 



Atlanta 
Clayton 
Brunswick 
Savannah Beach' 
Bainbridge 



11.00 (4.34) 11.70 (4.61) 12.4 (4.90) 6.35 (2.50) 122.8 (48.34) 

15.40 (6.08) 15.20 (5.99) 16.8 (6.60) 11.70 (4.61) 176.4 (69.45) 

7.04 (2.77) 7.65 (3.01) 19.4 (7.62) 10.20 (4.03) 138.9 (54.69) 

6.93 (2.73) 5.92 (2.33) 16.7 (6.59) 7.80 (3.07) 114.1 (44.93) 

10.30 (4.06) 12.20 (4.79) 17.7 (6.98) 6.30 (2.48) 132.0 (51.98) 



a. Located within the Sea Island Coastal Region. 



Table 4-7. Maximum amounts of rainfall in South Carolina. 



Location 



Amount cm (in) Period 



Reference 



Kings tree 



79.1 (31.13) July 1916 Landers 1974 



Charleston 3 69.0 (27.24) June 1973 U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA 1976b 

Charleston 3 26.8 (10.57) 24 hr, Sept. 1973 U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA 1976b 

Georgetown 3 28.4 (11.18) 24 hr, June 1945 Kronberg et al. 1955 

Edisto Island 3 29.6 (11.64) 24 hr, 1969 Purvis and Rampey 1975 

a. Located within the Sea Island Coastal Region. 



Table 4-8 Maximum amounts of rainfall in Georgia- 



Location 



Amount cm (in) Period 



Reference 



Savannah 
St. George 
Blakely 
Brunswick 
Golden Isles' 



58.1 (22.88) Sept. 1924 

45.7 (18.00) 17 hr, Aug. 1911 

76.8 00.23) 24 hr, July 1916 
26.1 (10.27) 24 hr, Oct. 1944 
53.8 (21.20) Sept. 1962 



U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA 1976c 
Carter 1974 
Carter 1974 
Carter 1971 
Carter 1967 



a. Located within the Sea Island Coastal Region. 



'■ I 



Table 4-9. Minimum amounts of rainfall in the South Carolina Sea Island Coastal Region. 



Location 



Amount cm (in) 



Period 



Reference 



Charleston 0.03 (0.01) April 1972 U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA 1976b 

Charleston 0.20 (0.08) October 1943 U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA 1976b 

Beaufort 0.28 (0.11) October 1961 U.S. Naval Weather Service Command 1973 

Beaufort 0.20 (0.08) October 1972 U.S. Naval Weather Service Command 1973 

Walterboro 0.05 (0.02) October 1953 U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA 1975 

Walterboro 0.08 (0.03) October 1961 U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA 1975 



Table 4-10. Minimum amounts of rainfall in the Georgia Sea Island Coastal Region. 



Locat ion 



Amount cm (in) Period 



Reference 



Golden Isles 0.30 (0.10) February 1945 Carter 1967 

Golden Isles 0.30 (0.10) November 1956 Carter 1967 

Golden Isles 0.30 (0.10) December 1956 Carter 1967 

Savannah 0.15 (0.06) October 1943 U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA 1976c 

Savannah 0.23 (0.09) October 1961 U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA 1976c 

Savannah 0.05 (0.02) October 1963 U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA 1976c 

Savannah 0.25 (0.10) October 1974 U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA 1976c 

Brunswick 0.00 (0.00) March 1967 Carter 1971 



Table 4-11. Wind statistics for selected locations in South Atlantic States. 





Mean 


Speed 


Prevailing 


Location 


km/h 


(mi/h) 


Direction 


Charleston 


14.2 


(8.8) 


NNE 


Columbia 


11.1 


(6.9) 


SW 


Greenville 


10.9 


(6.8) 


NF, 


Savannah 


13.0 


(8.1) 


SW 


Macon 


12.6 


(7.8) 


WNW 


Atlanta 


14.6 


(9.1) 


NW 


Jacksonville 


13.7 


(8.5) 


NW 



Reference 



U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA 1976b 

U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA 1976e 

U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA 1976a 

U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA 1976c 

U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA 1976d 

U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA 1976f 

U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA 1976g 



a. Located within the Sea Island Coastal Region. 



52 



1953 and 1976 (U.S. Department of 
Commerce, NOAA 1977). There are probably 
two explanations for this: reliable data 
are lacking from earlier periods and 
increased sightings are likely to be a 
result of a larger population in the area. 



A. 



VIII. TROPICAL CYCLONES 



CRITERIA 



While there is some inconsistency 
in terminology, "tropical cyclone" 
generally refers to all storms with 
counterclockwise winds originating near 
the North Atlantic subtropical convergence 
zone, i.e., east of the West Indies. Cry 
(1967) and Ludlum (1963) used the following 
system: tropical depression - wind speeds 
<63 km/h (39 mi/h), tropical storm - wind 
speeds 63 - 117 km/h (39 - 73 mi/h), and 
hurricane - wind speeds >117 km/h 
(>74 mi/h). For this discussion, the 
system of Cry (1967) has been utilized 
except when a reference did not distin- 
guish between the various terms, e.g., 
the use of storm in the most general 
sense. 

B. EARLY HISTORY 

In spite of the undeniably 
destructive nature of tornadoes, tropical 
cyclones historically have been far more 
devastating in the Sea Island Coastal 
Region. Reliable information on tropical 
cyclones occurring prior to 1900 is 
understandably meager, since there were 
few weather stations or reliable observers. 
However, hurricanes have been reported 
as early as 1686 in South Carolina and 
1752 in Georgia (Ludlum 1963). Earlier 
storms in Florida, as described in 
Spanish accounts, may have affected 
southern Georgia, e.g., the tropical 
storms at Pensacola in 1528 and St. 
Augustine in 1565 (Ludlum 1963). 

C. OCCURRENCE 

Regardless of the paucity of early 
data on hurricanes, it is evident that 
South Carolina has a higher rate of 
incidence of hurricanes than Georgia. 
Due to the curvature of the coastline 
and proximity to the Gulf Stream, South 
Carolina has been struck by more 
hurricanes than Georgia. Most hurricanes 
impacting Georgia have arrived after 
passing over the panhandle of Florida. 
Under such circumstances, most tropical 
cyclones lose much of their destruci ive 
force, since winds usually decrease in 
intensity as the storm moves over land. 
Tremendous amounts of rain usually 
accompany even the most diminished 
tropical cyclone resulting in severe 
flooding with concomitant destruction 
of crops, livestock, and buildings. 



D. CLASSIFICATION 

When discussing tropical cyclones 
of hurricane force, it is customary to 
rank them according to size and intensity. 
Sugg and Carrodus (1969) and Purvis and 
Landers (1973) classify tropical 
cyclones as hurricane, major, great, or 
extreme. Another classification system 
is that of Saf fir/Simpson in which 
hurricanes are given a numerical ranking 
of 1 - 5. The ranking is based on wind 
speed, storm surge, central atmospheric 
pressure, and destruction, with the most 
intense storms receiving higher numerical 
ranking (Hebert and Taylor 1975). With- 
out adequate, reliable data, it is diffi- 
cult to rank hurricanes by either scale; 
hence, most hurricanes prior to 1900 can 
only be roughly categorized. 

Some hurricanes affecting the coastal 
regions of South Carolina and Georgia 
are shown on Atlas plate 26H. Ranking 
post-1900 hurricanes according to the 
Saf fir/Simpson scale, Hebert and Taylor 
(1975) rank Cindy in 1959 (South Carolina) 
as a one, the October 1947 hurricane near 
Savannah as a two, Gracie in 1959 (South 
Carolina) as a three, and Hazel in 1954 
(South Carolina) as a four. No hurricanes 
since 1900 were ranked extreme or five 
on the Saf fir/Simpson scale. A listing 
of hurricanes of the Sea Island Coastal 
Region is provided in Tables 4-12 and 
4-13, showing available data on each 
significant storm. At first glance, 
some of the wind speeds may appear 
insignificant, but this is misleading 
due to the fact that the areas most 
affected did not always have anemometers 
and available instruments may not have 
been reliable or even functioning during 
the height of the storm. In addition, 
much actual destruction is due to storm 
surges and floods, especially in low- 
lying areas. The resulting destruction 
can be far more severe than statistics 
alone would indicate. 



E. 



STORM TIDES 



As mentioned above, storm tides or 
surges add substantially to the destruc- 
tion caused by hurricane-force winds. 
Myers (1975) has defined a storm tide as 
tl.e height of the sea surface above local 
MSL during a storm, and a surge as the 
increase (or decrease) of the height of 
the sea surface due to a storm. Table 
4-13 lists the maximum storm tides 
for significant hurricanes in the Sea 
Island Coastal Region after 1872. Much 
information relating to storm tides along 
the South Carolina and Georgia coasts 
can be found in Ho (1974) and Myers 
(1975). One of the best documented 
storm tides in the Sea Island Coastal 
Region was that of the August 1940 
hurricane, which struck the Georgia- 
South Carolina coast just north of 



53 





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55 



Savannah. High-water marks were measured 
in 1971, utilizing the National Geodetic 
Vertical Datum of 1929 (Myers 1975). 
Flooding from Savannah to Charleston 
occurred with storm tides of 2.3 m 
(7.4 ft) at Savannah, 4.4 m (14.5 ft) 
at Beaufort, and 2.7 m (8.9 ft) at 
Charleston being recorded (Ho 1974, 
Myers 1975). Even higher storm tides 
have been recorded (Table 4-13), thus 
illustrating the potential for severe 
destruction along the South Carolina- 
Georgia coast. 

F. PROBABILITY 

Although hurricanes have often 
been called "September gales," they 
have occurred along the South Carolina 
coast as early as 28 May and as late as 

23 October (Simpson and Lawrence 1971). 
This represents a fairly narrow time 
frame, since tropical cyclones have hit 
the Gulf or Atlantic coasts as early 

as 2 February or as late as 2 December 
(Fig. 4-1). The Sea Island Coastal 
Region is a moderately high risk zone 
with respect to tropical cyclone 
occurrences and destruction (Figs. 4-2 
and 4-3). Purvis and Landers (1973) 
report that 169 hurricanes hit the 
South Carolina coast from 1686 to 1972 
for an average of 0.59 per year. 
Hurricanes on the average have entered 
or affected Georgia about once every 10 
years, although tropical cyclones of less 
than hurricane force have averaged 1.1 
per year (Carter 1970b). 

G. PRECIPITATION 

Even though the obvious effects 
of hurricanes include flooding, property 
damage, etc., hurricanes also have 
a significant climatic effect. Cry (1967) 
reported that hurricane-related 
precipitation in the Sea Island Coastal 
Region is about 15% of the total rainfall 
(Fig. 4-4). The reason for this is 
clear when the courses of several 
hurricanes are plotted. Many hurricanes 
either hit the Sea Island Coastal Region 
directly or pass close to the area 
(Fig. 4-5). On 9 July 1916, a hurricane 
entered Georgia after traversing 
Mississippi and Alabama, producing large 
amounts of rainfall in Georgia and, to 
a lesser extent, South Carolina. As a 
result of the storm, Blakely, Georgia, 
received 55.09 cm (21.69 in) of rain in 4 
days producing a monthly total of 76.78 
cm (30.23 in). A record rainfall occurred 
when another hurricane passed inland 
over Bulls Bay, South Carolina, on 
14-15 July 1916, during which Effingham 
received 33.66 cm (13.25 in) of rain in 

24 hours (Purvis and Landers 1973). 
The flooding and ensuing crop and 
property damage were quite extensive 
due to the volume of rain and to the 
runoff caused by the Georgia storm only 
5 days earlier. 



H. 



DESTRUCTIVE POTENTIAL 



As destructive as many of the South 
Carolina-Georgia hurricanes and tornadoes 
have been, the potential for property 
damage and loss of life is far greater 
today than ever before. This is 
particularly true along the coast where 
populations have grown tremendously since 
the last great hurricane (< three on 
the Saf fir/Simpson scale), e.g., from 
344,700 in 1959 to 429,900 in 1970 for 
South Carolina (Hebert and Taylor 1975). 
Since Georgia has not experienced a 
hurricane of major intensity in modern 
times (when a census has been taken), it 
is not possible to evaluate accurately the 
population growth since the last major 
hurricane. However, the 1970 Georgia 
coastal population of 281,108 (Hebert and 
Taylor 1975) is undoubtedly much larger 
than the pre-1900 coastal population. It 
is clear that severe storms such as those 
of 1752, 1804, 1885, and 1893 (Tables 4-12 
and 4-13) could produce phenomenal 
destruction and great loss of life if 
adequate warning were not provided. The 
damage resulting from storms as intense 
as Camille (August 1969 in the Gulf of 
Mexico), with a storm tide > 7.3 m 
(> 24 ft), or the "Labor Day" hurricane 
(1935 in the Florida Keys) with 322 km/h 
(200 mi/h) winds is almost inconceivable 
in the Sea Island Coastal Region. Ho 
et al. (1975) have calculated that there 
is a relatively high probability that 
an intense hurricane like Camille could 
in fact hit the Georgia-South Carolina 
coast. Although this may never occur, 
the extreme hurricane of 27 August 1893 
is the closest to the above for comparison 
purposes. As shown in Table 4-13, between 
1000 - 2000 people died as a result of 
the severe flooding caused by the storm 
tide of > 5.18 m (> 17 ft) and the high 
wind speeds associated with this storm. 



56 




Figure 4-1. The date (month/day) of the earliest and latest hurricane occurrences for 50 nautical 
mile segments of coastline for 1886 - 1970 (Simpson and Lawrence 1971). 



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58 




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(Landers 1974). 



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I. 



CHAPTER FIVE 
PHYSIOGRAPHY 

INTRODUCTION 



are Holocene in age, while the sea 
islands are Pleistocene. All three 
types whi^h face the ocean have experi- 
enced erosion and deposition, while 
serving as protective barriers for the 
mainland. 



The Sea Island Coastal Region of 
South Carolina and Georgia is characterized 
by low, sandy islands which are covered 
by maritime forests and are partially 
surrounded by marsh. The whole area is 
a portion of the Atlantic Coastal Plain 
physiographic province in which the 
topography is basically broad deposi- 
tional terrace surfaces, aligned in 
belts subparallel to the present shore- 
line. These terraces are Pleistocene 
coastal deposits, such as barrier islands, 
spits, shoals, marshes, and lagoons. 

The seaward edge of the mainland 
is bordered by large areas of marsh, 
composed predominantly of salt marsh 
with limited amounts of freshwater and 
brackish marsh. These marshes cover many 
of the sand ridges, terraces, and major 
river flood plains to varying degrees. 
While tracts of marshland have been 
altered for rice cultivation, in the 
construction of the Atlantic Intra- 
coastal Waterway (AIWW), or in dredge 
and fill operations for land development, 
large amounts of undeveloped marsh 
still exist in South Carolina and 
Georgia. 

The Sea Island Coastal Region is 
also punctuated by numerous estuaries, some 
with significant freshwater discharge 
(major rivers) and some with very minor 
amounts of freshwater input (minor 
rivers). The former group occupies 
drowned river valleys while the latter 
group consists of bar-built estuaries 
located behind Pleistocene and Holocene 
barrier islands. The major rivers drain 
the Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont 
Plateau. These rivers occupy broad valleys 
with meandering channels, oxbow lakes, 
distributaries, and extensive sand dune 
fields, and the valleys typically cut 
straight across the Pleistocene deposi- 
tional terraces of the coastal plain. 
Minor rivers, whose drainages originate 
within the coastal plain, are generally 
deflected by these Pleistocene coastal 
bodies in their paths to the coast and 
therefore do not have extensive sand 
dunes developed on their flood plains. 

The coastal islands as a group 
consist of: 1) sea islands, erosion 
remnants of much older islands (Fig. 
5-1) with an oceanward fringe of marsh 
and/or beach dune ridges constructed 
since the middle Holocene (.15,000 yr 
ago); 2) sandy barrier islands with 
extensive dune ridges (Fig. 5-2); and 
3) marsh islands with widely spaced 
dune ridges surrounded by marsh (Fig. 
5-3). The barrier and marsh islands 



The whole Sea Island Coastal Region 
is quite complicated with respect to 
geology, chemistry, and ecology. 
Geologically, the islands and marshes 
are unstable, being subject to migration 
due to natural forces such as waves, 
tides, currents, and winds. Man-induced 
alterations have further complicated 
the situation by locally accelerating 
rates of deposition and erosion. Jetties, 
sea walls, breakwaters, and groins have in 
many areas caused significant alteration 
of natural movements of sand by 
increasing deposition in one area and 
erosion in another. Upstream dams have 
altered discharge rates and sediment 
loads of rivers such as the Savannah 
and Cooper, the latter being an example 
of extreme alteration. The results of 
these man-induced changes are often 
quite significant in terms of environ- 
mental impact and cost to taxpayers. 
The Cooper River-Charleston Harbor 
System is a classic example, with the 
flow of the Santee , a major river, being 
diverted through a series of lakes into 
the Cooper, a coastal plain river. (See 
Chapter Six for a detailed discussion of 
the Santee Diversion and Rediversion 
projects . ) 



II. ISLANDS 

A. ISLAND TYPES 

Coastal islands are generally 
classified by either functional or 
structural criteria, and several island 
classification systems are currently in 
use. Functionally, islands of the Sea 
Island Coastal Region can be divided 
into two types: barrier islands and 
sea islands. In this regard, barrier 
islands are those islands fronting the 
open ocean and having high-energy 
beaches, while sea islands do not front 
the open ocean and consequently lack 
high-energy beaches. These simplistic, 
functional definitions have been used 
worldwide and were recently applied to 
the South Atlantic coast by Warner and 
Strouss (1976). 

Geologists and other scientists 
have applied various technical criteria 
in developing structural classification 
schemes for coastal islands. The basis 
for these structural classifications is 
usually geological, since age and 
formation processes are so important 
to the overall character of any coastal 
island. Because these technical defini- 
tions are irore precise in defining the 
nature and history of coastal islands, 



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64 



a structural classification scheme has 
been adopted for use in the Sea Island 
Ecological Characterization. This 
scheme is described in the following 
pages, and is followed throughout the 
characterization documents. 

The Sea Island Coastal Region is 
characterized by low-lying, sandy 
islands bordered by salt marsh. These 
islands can be classified into three 
major groups based on geomorphology , 
geologic age, bulk sediment composition, 
and environment of deposition. The 
classic sea islands of colonial and 
nineteenth-century fame (Fig. 5-1) are 
erosional remnants of coastal sand 
bodies deposited during the Pleistocene 
high sealevel stands (Zeigler 1959, 
Hoyt and Hails 1969). Those sea islands 
adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean (e.g., 
Hilton Head and Cumberland islands) have 
an oceanward fringe of beach dune ridges 
that were constructed during the present 
or Holocene high sealevel stand. Barrier 
islands (Fig. 5-2), composed of beach dune 
ridges oriented parallel to subparallel 
with the present shoreline, separate 
saltmarsh-vegetated lagoons from the open 
Atlantic Ocean. These barrier islands 
were deposited during the Holocene 
high sealevel stand. Marsh islands, 
composed of isolated or widely spaced 
Holocene sand ridges surrounded by 
Holocene salt marsh, are located in the 
filled lagoons behind the barrier islands 
and are demarcated by tidal creeks 
(Fig. 5-3). Where Holocene barrier 



islands have been removed by erosion, 
marsh islands front the Atlantic (e.g., 
Raccoon Key, Morris Island, and Wolf 
Island) . 

B. PHYSIOGRAPHY 

1 . Sea Islands 

These erosional remnants of 
Pleistocene coastal sand bodies are 
crudely 1) elongate, parallel to the 
present day shoreline, and 2) rectangular 
in outline. Their topography is charac- 
terized by gentle slopes organized into 
wide, poorly defined ridges and troughs 
or swales (Fig. 5-4). Maximum elevations 
typically range between 5 to 35 ft MSL 
(4.5 to 10.5 m). The sandy soils support 
a maritime forest. (See Volume III, 
Chapter Three for detailed discussion 
of this maritime forest.) Detailed 
physiographic data for selected sea 
islands are presented in Table 5-1. 

2. Barrier Islands 

These islands are composed of beach 
dune ridges oriented parallel to sub- 
parallel with the present shoreline. 
The beach dune ridges are organized into 
discrete geographic sets in the more 
complex barriers. The ridge and swale 
topography contains locally steep slopes, 
e.g., the back beach dunes (Fig. 5-4). 
These islands are elongate parallel to 
the present shoreline and are crudely 
rectangular in outline. Maximum beach 



A(WNW) 



(ESE)A 




BLACKBEARD 
SLANO 



CABRETTA 

ISLAND B(WNW) 




A-A BLACKBEARD ISLAND PROFILE 



.1 o-JI^ 




B-B SAPELO ISLAND PROFILE 



I MILE 



Figure 5-4. Topographic profiles across a representative sea island (B 
barrier island (A - A'). 



>') and a representative 



65 



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70 



dune ridge elevations typically range 
between 10 and 25 ft MSL (3 and 7.5 m) 
with back beach dune crests going as high 
as 55 ft MSL (16.5 m). The sandy soils 
of these islands support a maritime 
forest. (See Volume III, Chapter Three 
for a detailed discussion of this mari- 
time forest.) Detailed physiographic 
data for all the barrier islands in the 
Sea Island Coastal Region are presented 
in Table 5-1. 

3. Marsh Islands 



These islands are composed princi- 
pally of tidal marsh and are geographically 
demarcated by tidal creeks, with many 
islands containing isolated or widely 
spaced Holocene sand ridges. The 
sloping nature of the tidal marsh 
surface is so flat and gentle that 
the topography is not usually depicted 
on even the most detailed Geological 
Survey topographical maps. Marsh islands, 
with the exception of any sand ridges, 
are periodically flooded by tidal 
waters. Detailed physiographic data 
for the marsh islands fronting the 
Atlantic Ocean are presented in Table 
5-1. 

C. GEOLOGIC FACTORS 

The extremely wide, shallow, and 
gently sloping continental shelf; the 
relative shortage of sand, compared with 
silt and clay, available for coastal 
deposition; and the Holocene sealevel 
rise are the major geologic factors 
controlling deposition in the 
Sea Island Coastal Region. The charac- 
ter of the continental shelf produces 
lower waves and a higher tidal range for 
this area as compared with adjacent 
North Carolina and Florida. Rivers 
draining the Appalachian Piedmont, as 
well as the coastal plain, supply the 
silts and clays of the marshes. Most 
sand contained in coastal deposits, 
although originally land-derived and 
transported to the ocean by rivers, 
probably came directly from those 
offshore areas of the continental 
shelf immediately adjacent to the coast 
(Pilkey and Field 1972). 

D. BARRIER ISLAND FORMATION 

1. Proposed Mechanisms 

The mechanisms responsible for 
coastal island formation have been 
topics of much discussion among 
geologists, geographers, and engine rs 
since the pioneering study of de Beaumont 
in 1845. Bars emerging from the ocean 
by natural deposition (Fig. 5-5) , spits 
migrating along the shore (Fig. 5-6), 
and the submerging of pre-existing 
coastal sand ridges by a rising sea 
(Fig. 5-7) are some of the more 
important mechanisms suggested by 



OFFSHORE BAR DEVELOPMENT 




VERT EXAG =100 



Figure 5-5. Idealized cross sections of 
barrier island formation from an 
offshore bar (Hoyt 1967). 1. 
Waves agitate sea floor and deposit 
sediment to form offshore bar. 2. 
Sediment builds offshore bar to 
near sea level. 3. Offshore bar 
is converted to island with lagoon 
on landward side. This idea was 
first proposed by de Beaumont (1845). 



SPIT MIGRATION 



MILES 



MAINLAND 




SPIT 




Figure 5-6. An idealized diagram showing 
barrier island formation from a 
migrating spit (Hoyt 1967). 1 • and 

2. Spit develops in the direction 
of longshore sediment transport. 

3. Spit breached to form barrier 
island. This idea was first proposed 
by Gilbert (1885). 



7! 




LAGOON 



Jt 



BARRIER ISLAND 

SEA LEVEL 




Figure 5-7. An idealized diagram showing 
the formation of barrier islands by 
submergence (Hoyt 1967). 1. Beach 
or dune ridge forms adjacent to 
shoreline. 2. The rising sea 
floods area landward of ridge to 
form barrier island and lagoon. 



researchers [see Schwartz (1973) for 
historical review]. Hoyt (1967) developed 
a model of barrier island formation using, 
among others, examples from the Georgia 
coast. His model stresses the 
importance of 1) slow submergence of a 
pre-existing coastal sand ridge 
(Fig. 5-7) and 2) island migration 
parallel and perpendicular to the shore. 

2. Observations from Sea Island 



Coastal Region 

The following observations are 
pertinent to understanding the origin 
and development of the Sea Island Coastal 
Region barrier islands and to evaluating 
proposed mechanisms or processes of their 
format ion: 

1) These islands are composed of 
parallel beach dune ridges, some of which 
are organized into distinct grouos or 
sets (e.g., Bull and Little St. Simons 
islands). This indicates that seaward 
progradation or growth, punctuated by 
periods of erosion, has been of primary 
significance. These islands have not 
migrated landward by overwash processes, 
as is the predominant condition along 
North Carolina's Outer Banks. Spit-type 
migration has occurred, especially 
adjacent to major tidal inlets, but has 
been usually accompanied by net seaward 
growth . 

2) There have been several periods 
of barrier island formation in the Sea 
Island Coastal Region. This is indicated 
by sequences of sand ridge islands 
extending from the Pleistocene mainland 
across the marsh-filled lagoon to the 



present Holocene barrier islands fronting 
the Atlantic. Beaufort County, South 
Carolina, has perhaps the best developed 
example. Between Ladies Island (a 
Pleistocene erosional remnant or sea island) 
and Fripp and Pritchard islands (the 
Holocene barriers fronting the Atlantic) 
are found St. Phillips (Atlas plate 6) 
and Old islands, which could be 
considered marsh islands. However, as 
both St. Phillips and Old islands are 
composed of many sand ridges (the 
former organized into several distinct 
groups and the latter showing a spit 
geomorphology) , they should be 
recognized as Holocene barrier islands 
stranded in the marsh-filled lagoon by 
subsequent coastal progradation. 

3) The lagoon between the 
Pleistocene mainland and the ocean- 
fronting Holocene barrier islands is 
not filled exclusively with silt and 
clay. Preliminary work done by 
Van Dolah et al. (1979) in the marsh 
behind Bull Island, Charleston County, 
South Carolina, indicates that extensive 
subtidal to intertidal sand sheets 
containing estuarine and marine mollusk 
assemblages underlie the marsh silts 
and clays. Similar results have been 
obtained in the Charleston, South 
Carolina, region (F. W. Stapor, 1978, South 
Carolina Marine Resources Division, 
Charleston, unpubl . data) and in the 
Savannah, Georgia, region (G. F. Oertel , 
1978, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, 
Virginia, pers. comm. ; F. W. Stapor, 1978, 
South Carolina Marine Resources Division, 
Charleston, unpubl. data). 

E. EROSION 

1 . Barrier Islands 

The sandy barrier islands and the 
marsh islands facing the open Atlantic 
Ocean, subject to waves and tidal 
currents, are experiencing erosion and 
deposition. The Holocene sandy barrier 
islands, being separated from each other 
by tidal inlets and sounds, tend to form 
independent littoral drift systems or 
cells having minimal net exchange 
(Oertel and Howard 1972, Oertel 1975a, 
Stapor and Murali 1978). Shore-parallel 
or littoral transport is thus not a 
simple, integrated river-of-sand flowing 
south, but rather a complicated series 
of short cells transporting material 
to the north and south (see discussion 
of littoral drift of coastal inlets, 
page 88 ). The ebb-tidal deltas 
separating these barrier islands appear 
to be serving as significant deposition 
sites for sand eroded off the adjacent 
islands (Olsen 1977). 

The jetties employed in navigation 
projects at Winyah Bay Entrance, 
Charleston Harbor, and St. Marys River 
Entrance have had measurable impacts on 



7 2 



the adjacent barrier island beaches. 
Stapor (1977) demonstrated that the jetties 
at Charleston Harbor have induced 
deposition on their adjacent barriers. 
The jetties at St. Marys Entrance have 
probably accelerated erosion on portions 
of their barriers as well as deposition 
COlsen 1977). 

2. Marsh Islands 



Coastal erosion is locally severe 
along the marsh islands. Since these 
marsh islands are largely undeveloped 
and hence uninhabited, little attention 
has been drawn to their plight. Some 
of the most extreme shore retreat 
measured in the Sea Island Coastal 
Region has been measured on these islands 
(Stephen et al. 1975). 



3. 



Control Measures 



Erosion of certain sandy barrier 
islands has so threatened houses, roads, 
and public recreation facilities that 
extensive control measures have had to 
be taken. The U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers has beach nourishment projects 
underway at Hunting Island, Beaufort 
County, South Carolina, and Tybee Island, 
Chatham County, Georgia. Groin fields 
have been installed with mixed results 
at Pawleys Island, Georgetown County, 
South Carolina; Folly Beach, Charleston 
County, South Carolina; Edisto Beach, 
Colleton County, South Carolina; Hilton 
Head Island, Beaufort County, South 
Carolina; and Tybee Island, Chatham 
County, Georgia. Bulkheads and revet- 
ments are in place along the Isle of 
Palms, Charleston County, South Carolina, 
and St. Simons and Jekyll islands, Glynn 
County, Georgia. Some of this accelerated 
erosion appears to be in response to man- 
induced alterations which intercept littoral 
drift (e.g., jetties, groins, etc.), indi- 
cating that at least some of the erosion 
control measures are doing more long-terra 
harm than good. 



III. 



MAINLAND PHYSICAL 
FEATURES 



The mainland portions of the 
South Carolina and Georgia counties 
covered in this study are part of the 
Atlantic Coastal Plain physiographic 
province and consist of low-lying broad 
sand ridges and terraces covered principally 
with pine and pine-hardwood forests. 
These ridges and terraces are relict 
Pleistocene coastal deposits, e.g., oeach 
ridges, marine scarps, coastal dunes, 
barrier islands, and back-barrier 
lagoons/flats (Colquhoun 1974, Dubar et 
al. 1974, Hoyt and Hails 1974). Regional 
topographic relief is measured in tens of 
meters, but slopes are very gentle except 
where rivers have cut steep banks. Maximum 



topographic elevations for the tier of 
coastal counties range between 10 and 20 
m (33 and 66 ft) and for the inland 
counties of Effingham, Dorchester, and 
Berkeley range between 30 and 45 m (98 
and 148 ft). 

The seaward edges of these sand 
ridges and terraces are buried by salt, 
brackish, and freshwater marshes, giving 
the impression of an eroded land mass 
submerged beneath a marsh sea. This 
results in a highly complex, digitate 
interface between the sandy high lands and 
the coastal marsh. Coastal marsh occupies 
the intertidal areas of the major river 
flood plains, grading from salt, to 
brackish, to fresh water in an upstream 
sequence (Atlas plates 9 - 18). These 
marshes are middle to late Holocene 
in age (less than 5,000 years old). 
Colonial and nineteenth-century rice 
cultivation resulted in the impounding of 
extensive tracts of coastal marsh (Atlas 
plates 9 - 18). The creation of dredge 
spoil areas, necessary for harbor navi- 
gation projects and the Atlantic Intra- 
coastal Waterway, has resulted in the im- 
pounding of significant areas of coastal 
marsh during the twentieth century. 

Carolina Bays are developed 
throughout the region on the major 
sand ridges, sandy terraces, and some 
river flood plains. (See Chapter II 
for a detailed discussion.) 

The major rivers, those originating 
beyond the coastal plain, all have wide 
flood plains and exhibit evidence of 
being underfit or too small for their 
flood plains. The Pee Dee, Santee, 
Savannah, and Altamaha flood plains 
contain localized dune sheets (Thorn 
1970). The Pleistocene dunes have relief 
of 10 to 25 m (33 to 82 ft), and their 
crests are roughly oriented east-west 
(Atlas plates 9 ,11, and 37). 

The two main geomorphic units of 
the Sea Island Coastal Region are 1) the 
quartz sand ridges and terraces, and 
2) the silty, clayey marsh plains. 
Tables 5-2 and 5-3 present acreages of 
marsh, impoundments, forest, farmland, 
and developed land, which are mapped on 
Atlas plates 9 - 18. 



IV. MAJOR RIVER VALLEYS 

A. INTRODUCTION 

The Sea Island Coastal Region is 
laced with numerous rivers and creeks, 
mostly tidal, with minimum freshwater 
discharge. These rivers, meandering 
across marsh plains, served during the 
colonial period and the nineteenth 
century as major communication arteries. 
Today they serve primarily a 






Table 5-2. Physiographic data for 14 counties included in the Sea Island Coastal Region. 



Counties Acres Approx. Acres Acres Total Acres Acres 
Urban Mi. of Forested Agri- Acres Brackish Fresh- 
Land Shore- culture Coastal & Saltwater water 

line Marsh Marshes Marshes 



Acres Acres 
Tidal Impound- 
Swamp ments 



Georgetown 

Berkeley 

Dorchester 

Charleston 
Colleton 

Beaufort 

Jasper 

Chatham 
Effingham 

Liberty 

Bryan 

Mcintosh 

Glynn 

Camden 



21,801' 



45,416' 
26,885 £ 



18,543' 



10,600' 



61,074 
7.294 1 



36. 2 U 



29,546 d none 



5,041' 



c.75 l 



36.1 



2.8 



c.23* 



7,946 J c.10.5 8 

7,840 none 

3,760 J c.14 8 

24,935^ c.21 g 

5.392J c.l7.5 g 



391, 300"- 
(1968) 

583,300° 
(1968) 

263,200° 
(1968) 



34,953 c 
(1967) 

63,617* 
(1967) 

64,716 £ 
(1967) 



391,300° 29,390* 



484,500 c 
(1968) 

157,OOO c 
(1968) 

312,900 c 
(1968) 

109,779 f 

247, 811 1 
(1973) 



131,300' 
(1967) 

54,381' 
(1967) 

48,215* 
(1967) 

21.197 1 

126, 975 1 
(1969) 



278,753 J 

Combined 

(1978) 

161,310 k 

Combined 

(1970) 

171 ,715 J 

Combined 
(1978) 

155 ,109 J 

Combined 
(1978) 

292,253 J 

Combined 
(1978) 



56,244 c 

29,057 c 

l,346 c 

170,400° 
59,845 c 

135,816 c 

48,774° 

106, 145 1 " 


42,261 h 
26,200^ 
97.165 1 " 
83.636 1 " 
120,275 h 



20,540 



439° 

142, 401* 
30,641 c 

130,015° 

36,014 c 

91,965 V 
* 

39.761 1 " 
20,495^ 



23,764° * ll,940 a 



7,252 d 17,511 d 



4,294 c 



862 u * 45 l 

5,000 d * 22,999 c 

8,608 d * 20,596° 

1,523 d * 4,278° 

6,536 d * 6,224° 

12,180 h 2,000 h * 

* * * 



l,500 h l,000 h * 



2,020 h 3,685 h * 



77,485 h 5,647 h 14,033 h * 



74,236 h 4,700 h 4,700 h * 



78,275 h 21,000 h 21,000 h * 



a. South Carolina State Soil and Watv_r Conservation Needs Committee 1970. 

b. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 1972a. 

c. Welch 1968. 

d. Tiner 1977. 

e. U.S. Department of Agriculture Extension Service, 1978, Clemson University, Clemson, unpubl . data. 

f. Wilkes 1978. 

g. South Carolina Marine Resources Division, 1978, Charleston, unpubl. data. 
h. Wilkes 1976. 

i. Coastal Area Planning and Development Commission 1975b. 

j. Coastal Area Planning and Development Commission 1978. 

k. Coastal Area Planning and Development Commission 1975a. 

* Data not available. 



U 



Table 5-3. Statistical data for 14 counties included in the Sea Island Coastal Region. 



Counties 



Area , 
Miles' 



Approx. 


Total 


Maximum 


Popula- 


Elevation 


tion 


(feet) 


(1970) 



County 
Seat 



River Systems 



Georgetown 

Berkeley 

Dorchester 

Charleston 

Colleton 
Beaufort 

Jasper 
Chatham 

Effingham 
Liberty 

Bryan 

Mcintosh 

Glynn 

Camden 



813 c 



l,100 c 



569' 



940 c 



1,048° 



581 c 



661' 



44T 



480 fc 



514 c 



443 1 



426 c 



c. 491 



653' 



75 

105 
130 

70 

125 

40 

105 
70 

135 

70 

150 

80 
50 

80 



33,500 



56,199 c 

32.276 1 

250,000 b 



27,622 c 



51,136 c 



11,885° 
187,767 d 

13,632 d 
17,569 d 

6,539 d 

7,371 d 
50,528 d 

ll,334 d 



Georgetown 

Moncks Corner 
St. George 
Charleston 

Wal terboro 
Beaufort 

Ridgeland 
Savannah 

Springfield 
Hinesville 

Pembroke 

Darien 

Brunswick 

Woodbine 



Pee Dee/Waccamaw, 
Black, Santee, 
Sampit 

Wando, Cooper 

Ashley, Edisto 

Santee, Wando, 
Cooper, Ashley, 
Stono, N. & S. 
Edisto 

S. Edisto, Edisto, 
Ashepoo, Combahee, 
Salkehatchie 

May, Combahee, 
Broad, Pocotaligo, 
Coosawhatchie , New, 
Colleton 

New, Savannah 

Savannah, Little 
Ogeechee, Ogeechee, 
Canoochee , Wilmington 

Savannah , Ogeechee 

Medway/ Jericho, 
Canoochee, Medway, 
N. & S. Newport 

Ogeechee, Medway, 
Canoochee, Jericho 

S. Newport, Altamaha, 
Sapelo 

Altamaha, Turtle/ 
Brunswick, Little 
Satilla 

Little Satilla, 
Satilla, Crooked, 
St. Marys 



a. South Carolina State Soil and Water Conservation Needs Committee 1970. 

b. South Carolina Budget and Control Board 1977. 

c. Wilkes et al. 1974. 

d. Coastal Area Planning and Development Commission 1973. 

e. Coastal Area Planning and Development Commission 1975b. 

f. Coastal Area Planning =ind Development Commission 1975a. 



75 



recreational function. Superimposed 
on this network of tidal rivers and 
creeks are the major water courses 
draining the coastal plain and/or the 
Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont. 
These major rivers can be broken down 
into two classes: 1) those originating 
in the coastal plain and 2) those 
originating in the Appalachian Mountains 
and Piedmont. The former class includes 
the Black, Waccamaw, Cooper, and Combahee- 
Salkehatchie of South Carolina and the 
Satilla and St. Marys of Georgia. The 
Pee Dee, Santee, Edisto, Savannah, Ogeechee, 
and Altamaha comprise the latter class. 
All of these major rivers served as 
arteries of communication during the 
colonial period and the nineteenth century. 
Additionally, the coastal flood plains of 
these rivers were also valuable as sites 
for rice cultivation. Today, the major 
rivers continue to serve, although to a 
more limited extent, as communication 
arteries. Additionally, the high volume 
and quality freshwater discharge of those 
rivers draining the Appalachians is a 
major industrial resource. 

The Pee Dee, Black, Satilla, and 
St. Marys are deflected around various 
Pleistocene sand bodies (possibly relict 
barrier islands) in their oceanward 
courses. In addition, the Waccamaw flows 
parallel to the coast between two such 
sand bodies before emptying into 
Winyah Bay. The Pee Dee and Black rivers 
also empty into Winyah Bay, which is 
essentially a Pleistocene estuary reoccu- 
pied by the present ocean. 



B. 



FLUVIAL DEPOSITS 



The major river valleys are composed 
of broad flood plains containing oxbow 
lakes, meander scroll or point bar 
deposits, natural levees, and sand dunes. 
The river channels meander and, as a result, 
have cut steep banks or bluffs into the 
Tertiary bedrock. Near their mouths, 
these valleys are covered by coastal marsh 
and typically widen as they merge into 
their associated deltas or estuaries. 

C. DELTAS 

The largest of these major rivers, 
the Pee Dee, Santee, Savannah, and 
Altamaha, have not constructed deltas 
extending significant distances out 
onto the nearshore shelf despite 1) their 
considerable sediment load and 2) the 
relatively low wave energy available to 
distribute sediment along the coast. 
The Pee Dee flows into an ancient estuary 
separated from the ocean by Pleistocene 
barrier island deposits. The Altamaha, 
Savannah, and Santee flow directly into 
the Atlantic Ocean, but their deltas 
may more closely resemble sediment-filled, 
drowned valleys than depositional centers 
spreading or prograding oceanward over the 



nearshore shelf. The Cape Romain region, 
now undergoing net erosion, has an exten- 
sive coastal marsh which directly fronts 
the open ocean with no seaward sand 
barrier. This area has long been 
considered an earlier Holocene delta of 
the Santee River; Aburawi (1972) and 
Woollen (1976) indicate that the Santee 
Delta has been in its present position 
since at least 4500 years ago. The 
extensive Holocene barrier island and 
marsh plain directly south of the 
Savannah River has also been considered 
its delta. Plains of similar and even 
larger size occur adjacent to the mouth 
of the Cooper River at Charleston and 
between tidal Morgan-Coosaw and Broad 
rivers in Beaufort County, South Carolina, 
streams carrying much less sediment than 
the Savannah, Santee, or Altamaha. 

D. PLEISTOCENE HISTORY 

1 . Sealevel Change 

During the Wisconsin glacial event 
of the late Pleistocene, these major 
rivers flowed into an ocean 100 to 200 m 
(328 to 656 ft) below its present level. 
As a consequence, major river gradients 
across the Sea Island Coastal Region may 
have been steeper, resulting in valley 
floor downcutting. These incised 
valleys would have been filled as sea 
level rose during the last Wisconsin and 
early Holocene. A section across the 
Santee River valley (Fig. 2-7, page 13) 
showing the nature and thickness of this 
fill was developed by Colquhoun et al. 
(1972) from South Carolina Highway 
Department bore hole data. Sub-bottom 
profiles of the lower Savannah River and 
Winyah Bay depicting their respective 
incision and valley fills are presented 
on Atlas plate 22-A and in Fig. 5-8. 

2. River Valley Dunes 

Late Wisconsin time (15,000 to 
10,000 years ago) saw the formation of 
the various river valley dune sheets 
(Thorn 1970). These dunes represent a 
time of changing river conditions, 
i.e., a reduction in overall discharge 
and/or a shift from a wide, sandy 
braided bed to a narrow meandering 
channel, serving to expose bare flood 
plain to wind action. Another such 
indication of a change in river condition 
is the underfit nature of the flood plain 
character of some major rivers, especially 
the Combahee-Salkehacchie . The river 
channel, as defined by the meander belt 
width, does not fill the existing flood 
plain, or the valley appears to be too 
wide to have been cut by the present 
stream. 



76 



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77 



E. RIVER SYSTEM DESCRIPTION 

The major river systems of the Sea 
Island Coastal Region are briefly 
described. Table 5-4 presents the 
detailed physiographic data pertinent 
to each river system. The data include 
the drainage basin area, discharge, tidal 
extent in river mile9, sediment load, 
water quality, and width of flood plain 
for these 12 major rivers. 

1. Pee Dee 

The area drained by the Pee Dee, 
Waccamaw, and Black rivers defines the 
Pee Dee River basin. The river becomes 
the Pee Dee at the confluence of the 
Yadkin and Uwharrie rivers. The Pee Dee 
flows some 200 mi (320 km) from this 
point to empty into Winyah Bay, then into 
the Atlantic Ocean near Georgetown. 

2. Santee-Cooper 

The basin of the Santee-Cooper 
originates on the eastern slopes of the 
Blue Ridge Mountains in western North 
Carolina and flows some 300 mi (480 km) 
southeasterly to the coast to empty 
between Charleston and the south edge 
of Winyah Bay. The Santee River basin 
has been dammed at River Mile 87 to form 
Lake Marion. The lake occupies the upper 
56 mi (90 km) section of the 143 mi 
(230 km) length of the Santee River. 
The Cooper River has been dammed at 
the headwaters in Berkeley County to 
form Lake Moultrie. Both dams provide 
hydroelectric power and are operated 
by the South Carolina Public Service 
Authority. The impoundment at Lake 
Marion is utilized for release of a 
minimum of 500 ft /s (14.2 m /s) discharge 
into the Santee River. The remaining 
flow is diverted by a canal to Lake 
Moultrie and the Cooper River to be 
discharged near Charleston. See Chapter 
Six for a more detailed discussion of the 
Santee-Cooper Diversion and Rediversion 
projects . 

3. Edisto-Combahee-Salkehatchie 

The Edisto-Combahee-Salkehatchie 
River basin originates in the west 
central portion of South Carolina and 
extends approximately 100 mi (160 km) in 
a southeasterly direction to empty 
between Morgan Island and the western end 
of Seabrook Island. There are no hydro- 
electric plants on the Edisto-Combahee 
River basin. 

4. Savannah 



the Seneca and Tugaloo rivers, join 
near Hartwell, Georgia, to form the 
Savannah. The river flows some 300 mi 
(480 km) through the Appalachian Piedmont 
and the Atlantic Coastal Plain, forming 
the boundary between South Carolina and 
Georgia, to discharge near Savannah, 
Georgia. Two sections of the Savannah 
River, Hartwell Lake and Clark Hill 
Reservoir, are presently being used for 
hydroelectric power production and for 
recreation. 

5 . Ogeechee 

The Ogeechee River basin is adjacent 
to the Savannah River and is wholly in 
Georgia. The river flows 245 mi (395 km) 
to empty into the Atlantic Ocean at 
Ossabaw Sound between Wassaw Sound and 
St. Catherines Sound. A chain of islands, 
Wassaw, Ossabaw, Sapelo, and Blackbeard, 
are all included in the Ogeechee River 
basin. There are no hydroelectric facili- 
ties on the Ogeechee River. 

6. Altamaha 



The headwaters of the Savannah 
River are high on the forested slopes 
of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North 
Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. 
The two principal headwater streams, 



The Altamaha River is formed by the 
confluence of the Ocmulgee and Oconee 
rivers 137 mi (221 km) above the mouth and 
flows across the coastal plain until it 
empties into the Atlantic Ocean near 
Darien, Georgia. With the exception of 
6,000 acres (2,430 ha) of cleared land, 
the flood plain is covered with a dense 
growth of timber and underbrush. Five 
hydroelectric plants are operated in the 
basin by the Georgia Power Company and 
three power plants are operated by in- 
dustrial companies. 

7. Satilla 

The Satilla River rises in Coffee 
and Ben Hill counties, Georgia, and flows 
generally southeasterly about 260 mi 
(420 km) to empty into the Atlantic Ocean 
at St. Andrews Sound. The coastal plain 
portion of the river basin is flat and 
has much low wetland and marshes. There 
are no hydroelectric generating facilities 
located within the Satilla basin. 

8. St. Marys 

The St. Marys River originates in the 
Okefenokee Swamp and flows some 125 mi 
(200 km) to the ocean. The river flows 
to the south from the swamp, then turns 
to the north near Folkston, Georgia; then 
it turns in an eastward direction toward 
the Atlantic Ocean. The river forms the 
boundary between Georgia and Florida. There 
are no hydroelectric plants in the St. Marys 
River basin. 



78 



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79 



V. ESTUARIES 



D. 



WATER CIRCULATION PATTERNS 



A. DEFINITION 

The Sea Island Coastal Region 
contains numerous estuaries or ". . .semi- 
enclosed coastal bodies of water having 
free connection with the open sea and 
within which sea water is measurably 
diluted with fresh water derived from land 
drainage" (Pritchard 1967). Estuaries 
serve as nursery grounds and/or habitats 
for important commercial and recreational 
species of fish, clams, oysters, crabs, 
and shrimp. In addition, their shores are 
the sites of cities, factories, and ports. 
Estuaries are extremely important 
resources which must serve a variety of 
interdependent, often competitive 
interests. 



B. 



CLASSIFICATION AND GENESIS 



Geomorphologically , these estuaries 
are either 1) drowned river valleys, 
2) bar-built or the result of migrating 
barrier islands separating nearshore 
regions from the open ocean, or 3) some 
combination of both. Charleston Harbor 
and Port Royal Sound are classic examples 
of drowned river valleys; Murrells Inlet, 
Bulls Bay, Calibogue Sound, and Cumberland 
Sound are examples of bar-built estuaries; 
and Winyah Bay, Sapelo Sound, and St. 
Andrews Sound are examples of the drowned 
valley-barrier island combination. The 
rise in sea level over the past 10,000 
years has submerged the sub-aerially 
eroded continental land mass, drowning 
river valleys and flooding low-lying 
regions. In addition, concomitant 
erosion of local headlands and offshore 
bottoms has provided sediments for the 
construction of coastal barriers which 
separate nearshore regions from the 
open ocean. 



C. 



SEDIMENTATION 



Estuaries are traps for terrigenous 
(land-derived) sediments coming down 
rivers, sediments moving along the open 
ocean beaches, and sediments moving 
onshore from the immediate offshore 
region. Clay-size material is trapped 
within estuaries by tiual and nontidal 
circulation patterns. Flocculation 
(Ippen 1966), internal shearing (Krone 
1962), and biologic processes (Schubel 
1971) interact to increase the grain 
size of this material sufficient for 
deposition during periods of slack cur- 
rent. Estuarine deposits include tidal 
flats, marshes, and inlet-associated 
deltas to name just a few. Most 
of the marsh-covered plains characteris- 
tic of the Sea Island Coastal Region are 
sediment-filled (or essentially filled) 
Pleistocene estuaries, now covered with 
a Holocene marsh veneer. 



Water circulation within an estuary 
results from the interaction of numerous 
processes, including river flow, tidal 
conditions, wind regime, and the 
estuary's physical dimensions. Fresh 
water, being lighter than ocean water, 
tends to flow seaward over an estuary 
in a surface sheet, while denser sea 
water flows upstream in a bottom layer 
in a counter-current response to the 
river flow. Tidal and wind actions tend 
to promote mixing of the two layers. 
An estuary's physical dimensions determine 
1) the effect of the earth's rotation 
(Coriolis lorce), which can be significant 
in wide estuaries and negligible in 
narrow ones, and 2) the degree of tidal 
mixing, extensive in shallow estuaries 
and limited in deep ones. Table 5-5 presents 
a classification of estuaries based on 
circulation patterns determined by these 
interactions. 

Circulation patterns in estuaries of 
the Sea Island Coastal Region are 
primarily dependent on the amount of 
freshwater discharge. Where discharge is 
significant, the resulting pattern is that 
of two-layer flow with vertical mixing. 
Charleston Harbor, Winyah Bay, the 
Savannah River, and the Altamaha River 
fall into this category. Where fresh- 
water discharge is minimal, a vertically 
homogeneous salinity pattern results, 
e.g., Bulls Bay, Port Royal Sound, Wassaw 
Sound, and Sapelo Sound. 

Circulation patterns do influence 
estuarine sedimentation processes and 
major changes in these patterns can have 
significant results. The diversion of 
the bulk of the Santee River's discharge 
into Charleston Harbor converted a 
vertically homogeneous estuary into one 
characterized by two-layer flow. Clays 
and silts introduced along with the 
fresh water were, and continue to be, 
rapidly deposited; 25 years after 
diversion, plans were begun to redivert 
this flow back into the Santee River 
in order to continue commercial navi- 
gation in Charleston Harbor. (See Chapter 
Six for a detailed discussion of the Santee- 
Cooper Diversion and Rediversion projects.) 

E. CHARLESTON HARBOR 

1 . Introduction 

Charleston Harbor is an estuary 
located midway along the South Carolina 
coastline at the confluence of the 
Ashley, Cooper, and Wando rivers (Atlas 
plate 43B) . The harbor is bounded on the 
north by Sullivans Island and Mt. Pleasant, 
and on the south by Morris and James 
islands. The City of Charleston is 
located at the western end of the harbor 
on a peninsula between the Ashley and 
Cooper rivers. 



Hi i 



Table 5-5. Types of estuarine circulation (adapted from Bowden 1967). 



Type 



Physical processes 



Forces 



1. Salt wedge 



2. Two-layer flow 
with entrap- 
ment, including 
fjords 

3. Two-layer flow 
with vertical 
mixing (part- 
ially mixed) 

4. Vertically 
homogeneous 

(a) with lateral 
variation 

(b) laterally 
homogeneous 



River-flow dominant 



River-flow, modified by 
tidal currents 



River-flow and tidal 
mixing 



Tidal currents 
predominating 



Pressure gradients, field 
accelerations, Coriolis 
effect, interfacial friction 

Pressure gradients, field 
accelerations, Coriolis 
effect, entrainment 



Pressure gradients, field 
accelerations, Coriolis 
effect, turbulent shear 
stresses 

Pressure gradients, field 
accelerations, turbulent 
shear stresses, Coriolis 
effect in vertically 
homogeneous type with 
lateral variation 



Examples from Sea 
Island Coastal Region 



Charleston Harbor, 
Winyah Bay, Savannah 
Harbor, Altamaha 
River 

Port Royal Sound, St. 
Simons Sound, Wassaw 
Sound, St. Helena 
Sound 



The area surrounding the harbor is 
heavily populated and highly developed, 
with numerous urban, suburban, and 
industrial sites located on the harbor 
perimeter. Because of this high degree 
of development, Charleston Harbor was 
chosen as an example of an extensively 
modified estuary. The extent of modi- 
fications can be seen in the many 
potential sources of pollution, i.e., 
runoff from municipal and suburban 
areas, septic tank overflows, sewage 
discharges, industrial outfalls, and 
runoff from agricultural zones. Undoubt- 
edly, the single most significant modi- 
fication affecting water chemistry was the 
Santee River diversion in 1942, which 
resulted in greatly increased maintenance 
dredging requirements. The diversion did, 
however, provide industry with a source of 
extremely pure fresh water and an 
increased flushing action for the lower 
Cooper River and the harbor itself. 

Specific information for Charleston 
Harbor is provided in the following 
sections, ranging from physical 
dimensions to water quality. Both 
historic data, where available, and recent 
data are shown for the harbor and its 
immediate surroundings. 

2. Size 

The tidal prism (volume) of 
Charleston Harbor is 4.3 x 10 m 
(3.5 x 105 acre-ft) (U.S. Army Corps 
of Engineers 1966a). Freshwater dis- 
charge into Charleston Harbor is 
primarily from the Cooper River with 



small amounts being contributed by 
the Ashley and Wando rivers. Nominal 
discharge from Lake Moultrie into the 
Cooper River is 425 m3/s (15,000 
ft3/ s ), with amounts >566 m3/s 
(>20,000 ft 3 /s) being common. The har- 
bor area is approximately 36 km 2 
(14 mi2) ( with depths ranging from 3.0 to 
7.6 m (10 - 25 ft) at low tide (U.S. 
Army Corps of Engineers 1966a). The 
main harbor channel is maintained 
by dredging at 10.6 m (35 ft). Large 
shoals exist near Ft. Sumter, Shutes 
Folly Island (Castle Pinckney), and 
Crab Bank, where water depths are 
<1.0 m (<3.3 ft) in many places. 

3. Salinity Distribution 

Charleston Harbor changed from a 
well-mixed to a highly stratified estuary 
when the Santee River flow was diverted 
in 1942. Zetler (1953) reported that the 
average surface salinity in Charleston 
Harbor was 25°/oo - 32°/oo for the period 
1923 - 1941. From 1942 to 1951, the 
average surface salinity in the harbor 
dropped to about 15°/oo - 20°/oo (Zetler 
1953). Similar results were obtained by 
the Coast and Geodetic Survey from 1942 to 
1952, when the average surface salinity 
at the U.S. Customs House in Charleston 
was 16.7 /oo, ranging from 14.2°/oo to 
19.2 /oo (Bears Bluff Laboratories, Inc. 
1964). 

In general, isohalines are very 
compressed from the lower reaches of the 
harbor to the mouth of the Cooper River. 
Mean surface salinities at the mouth 



8] 



of the Cooper River were 4.5 /oo for 

1973 and 5.3°/oo for 1974, as compared 
to 16.0°/oo for 1973 and 18.5°/oo for 

1974 at Cummings Point near the mouth 

of the harbor (Mathews and Shealy 1978). 
The salt wedge can be detected up the 
Cooper to North Charleston, where mean 
bottom salinities were 4.0 /oo for 1973 
and 5.1 /oo for 1974 (Mathews and Shealy 
1978). 

Overall salinity variations in 
Charleston Harbor are great, depending 
on tide stage, runoff, and precipitation. 
A typical salinity variation from high 
to low tide at Ft. Johnson on the south- 
west side of Charleston Harbor is about 
10 /oo - 12 /oo for bottom waters, with 
surface to bottom variation on the order 
of 14°/oo (T. D. Mathews, 1978, South 
Carolina Marine Resources Division, 
Charleston, unpubl. data). Bears Bluff 
Laboratories, Inc. (1964) reported surface 
salinities 9.2 /oo and 7.4 /oo lower 
than bottom salinities at the mouth of 
the Cooper River and near Hog Island, 
respectively. 

The effects of runoff on salinity 
can be quite significant, e.g., during 
1973 surface salinity at Ft. Johnson 
varied from about 6°/oo to 28°/oo, while 
bottom salinity ranged from 10 /oo to 30 /oo 
(Mathews and Pashuk 1977). During the 
same period salinity ranges at the 
mouth of the Cooper River were 0.7 /oo - 
13.5°/oo (surface) and 2.0°/oo - 26.2°/oo 
(bottom). Tidal salinity fluctuations 
are often quite significant also, with 
surface salinity variations il3°/oo 
being recorded in May 1975. Bottom tidal 
salinity fluctuations were also consider- 
able (i.e., 10 /oo - 15 /oo), but even higher 
ranges have been recorded (e.g., 22 /oo 
in February 1975) (T. D. Mathews and 
M. H. Shealy, Jr., 1975, South Carolina 
Marine Resources Division, Charleston, 
unpubl. data). 



variations >2 C (>3.6 F) have been 
recorded in the harbor (Mathews and 
Shealy 1978). 

Diurnal temperature variations are 
generally < 1.5°C (<2.7°F), although local 
weather conditions such as precipitation 
and winds can have a noticeable influence. 
For surface water, the greatest diurnal 
variation in Charleston Harbor was about 
2.5°C (4.5°F) in May 1976, while the 
greatest diurnal variation for bottom waters 
was 2.7°C (4.9°F), also in May 1976 (T. D. 
Mathews and M. H. Shealy, Jr., 1976, 
South Carolina Marine Resources Division, 
Charleston, unpubl. data). 

5. Bottom Sediment 



There are no sediment maps for 
Charleston Harbor. 

6. Suspended Sediment 

Since diversion of the Santee River 
in 1942, silting has been an increasing 
problem due to the greatly increased 
amounts of suspended sediments in the 
Cooper River. Sediment or solids 
concentrations in the harbor are highly 
variable, due in part to the variability 
of analytical methods. Total solids 
for surface samples ranged from 17.46 to 
57.84 mg/1 and from 22.96 to 103.24 mg/1 
for bottom samples (U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers 1966a). Nelson (1974) reported 
total nonf il terable residue concentra- 
tions of 12 - 63 mg/1 with an average 
of 37 mg/1 upstream from the mouth of 
the Cooper River. Mathews and Shealy 
(1978) found even greater variation 
in solids concentrations, e.g., total 
solids (bottom) ranged from 14.0 to 
144.4 mg/1 at the Cooper River mouth 
during the period of February 1973 through 
January 1974. 

7. Tidal Currents 



4. Temperature Distribution 

Large variations in water temperature 
are not common in Charleston Harbor, 
although measurable differences in surface 
and bottom values are common. As a 
general rule, fresh water is cooler in 
winter than salt water, since oceanic 
water tends to have smaller seasonal 
temperature variations. 

February 1973 produced unusally cold 
water throughout the Cooper River due to 
large amounts of snow and ice; otherwise, 
the temperature difference between February 
and August is approximately 16° - 18°C 
(29° - 32°F) (Mathews and Shealy 1978). 

Surface to bottom variations in 
temperature are generally on the order 
of 1°C (1.8°F) or less, although 



Studies of tidal currents in 
Charleston Harbor have been made by 
U.S. Department of Commerce (1967), 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (1966b), 
and Neiheisel and Weaver (1967). Surface 
tidal current velocities range from 
103 to 155 cm/s (2.3 to 3.5 mi/h) in the 
main channels during maximum ebb, and from 
51 to 124 cm/s (1.1 to 2.8 mi/h) during 
naximum flood. Water moves with higher 
velocities over the northern portion of 
the harbor during maximum flood than 
over the southern, with the reverse 
occurring during maximum ebb. Neiheisel 
and Weaver (1967) concluded from current 
measurements made throughout the entire 
water column that the harbor's general 
circulation is counterclockwise (Fig. 5-9). 

Stapor (1977) measured bottom 
currents in front of Sullivans and Morris 
islands in an attempt to analyze sand 



82 



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transport. His results (Atlas plate 43B) 
show flood-oriented transport occurring 
in front of Morris Island, sweeping sand 
toward Charleston Harbor Entrance. 

8. Water Quality 

The water quality in Charleston 
Harbor has been a highly controversial 
topic during the recent past. 
Industrial and municipal wastes were 
formerly emptied directly into the harbor 
or into one of the adjacent tributary 
rivers or streams. Due to stringent 
pollution regulations, waste treatment 
facilities have been installed in the 
area, resulting in improved water quality 
overall. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
(1966c) found, however, that even with 
the present high flow conditions, the 
effects of waste outfalls were detectable, 
i.e., dissolved oxygen percent saturation 
for bottom waters was 52% in the upper 
harbor and 77% in the lower harbor. 
Similar, though improved, conditions were 
reported by Mathews and Shealy (1978), 
e.g., dissolved oxygen percent saturation 
ranged from 80% near the mouth of the 
Cooper River to 90% or 95% at the mouth 
of the harbor. 

Robison and Himelright (1963) found 
12 untreated domestic sewage outfalls 
along the Cooper River with a biochemical 
oxygen demand (BOD) range of 110 - 
205 mg/1. Fish kills occurred occasion- 
ally through the 1960's, prior to the 
enactment and enforcement of various 
pollution regulations and laws. A 
similar case was noted in the Ashley 
River, where several industrial plants 
and 24 untreated domestic sewage out- 
falls polluted the water (Robison and 
Himelright 1963). Fish kills also 
occurred in the lower reaches of the 
river, with an unusually severe occurrence 
on 22 June 1964, resulting in a large 
kill of menhaden, spot, croaker, blue 
crabs, and porpoises (Bears Bluff 
Laboratories, Inc. 1964). 

More recent studies indicate a 
significant improvement in Charleston 
Harbor waters with respect to some 
parameters. The BOD near the mouth of 
the Cooper River was 0.6 - 1.4 mg/1 in 
October 1971 during high flow conditions 
of 566 m J /s (20,000 ft J /s) and 0.8 - 
1.0 mg/1 in November 1971 during low 
flow conditions of 279m /s (3,000 
ft /s) (Nelson 1974). The average 
range in percent saturation of dissolved 
oxygen at this same station was 70.7% - 
74.2% for October and November 1971 
(Nelson 1974). Nelson (1974) also 
reported no pesticide residues above the 
detection limit for the 18 pesticides 
analyzed. 



Trace metals in the harbor and 
surrounding waters are highly variable, 
depending on location and, to some 
extent, salinity. Relatively low 
concentrations of iron, copper, lead, 
mercury, and cadmium have been found 
in shellfish in the Charleston area. 
Elevated copper concentrations have been 
detected in oysters near river miles 
8 - 10 on the Wando River (Mathews et al. 
1979). The oysters from this zone 
averaged 106.0 - 118.0 ug/g copper, 
as compared with 17.9 ug/g at Ft. Johnson 
and 29.9 Ug/g at the old Ashley River 
bridge. Lead, mercury, and cadmium were 
all below the analytical detection limit 
on oyster samples from Ft. Johnson and 
the Wando River (T. D. Mathews, 1975, 
South Carolina Marine Resources Division, 
Charleston, unpubl. data). 



While trace metals in general may 
not be a serious threat in Charleston 
Harbor during high flow conditions, concen- 
trations may rise significantly during 
low flow conditions. During October 1971, 
Nelson (1974) found average mercury, iron, 
lead, and copper levels of 0.20, 1070, 
170, and 45 pg/1, respectively. However, 
during low flow conditions in November 
1971, average mercury, iron, lead, and 
copper concentrations were 0.30, 2212, 
232, and 67 pg/1, respectively (Nelson 
1974). It appears that maximum regulation 
of industrial and municipal effluents will 
have to be exercised after rediversion 
of the Santee River flow to avoid large 
increases in many pollutants, especially 
in trace metals. 

Another measurement relating to 
pollution in Charleston Harbor is fecal 
coliform concentration. Fecal coliform 
counts were frequently very high 
before untreated domestic sewage 
outfalls were eliminated. During a 
South Carolina Water Resources Commission 
study, fecal coliforms ranged from 330 - 
7900/100 ml with a geometric mean of 
830/100 ml during high flow conditions 
in October 1971 (Nelson 1974). Low flow 
conditions resulted in fecal coliform 
levels of 130 - 1700/100 ml with a geometric 
mean of 460/100 ml (Nelson 1974). These 
values represent a distinct improvement in 
water quality when compared with earlier 
results. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
(1966c) conducted a survey of Charleston 
Harbor and found surface fecal coliform 
counts of 14,650 and 13,800/100 ml at a 
station several miles above the mouth of 
the Cooper River and at the mouth, 
respectively. At a station near Shutes 
Folly Island a surface count of 24,040/ 
100 ml was measured (U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers 1966d). 



84 



F. DOBOY SOUND 

1 • Introduction 

Doboy Sound is an estuary located 
on the central Georgia coast, south of 
Sapelo Island. It is bounded on the south 
and west by a series of marsh islands 
and by Sapelo Island to the north and 
east. Doboy Sound is relatively pristine 
when compared to estuaries in highly 
developed areas. Since development has 
been minimal in the immediate area around 
the sound, Doboy Sound was chosen as an 
example of an unmodified estuary. 

The following sections include 
data on the size of Doboy Sound; distri- 
butions of salinity, temperature, and 
suspended sediment; and tidal currents. 
A section is also included on alterations 
(dredging) in the sound. 

2. Size 

Oertel (1971) defined the lower 
reaches of Doboy Sound as being seaward 
several km beyond the coastline and the 
head of the sound above the mouths of 
the Duplin and North rivers. The length 
of the sound is about 10 km (6.2 mi), 
while the mouth is approximately 3.2 km 
(2.0 mi) wide. Depths in most areas are 
<8 m (<26 ft) with relatively steep 
slopes on the southwestern sides of the 



main channel (Oertel 1971). 

3- Salinity Distribution 

Relatively low salinity water 
(20 /oo - 27 /oo) is introduced to Doboy 
Sound via the North, Back, and South 
rivers (Oertel 1971). Water of about 
18 /oo is also found at the upper end 
of the Duplin River (Kjerfve 1973) possi- 
bly providing a small supply of low 
salinity water to Doboy Sound. Brackish 
water ponds on Sapelo Island also contri- 
bute small amounts of relatively fresh 
water (25°/oo), some of which moves 
up the Duplin River as a surface lens 
(Remmer 1972). 

The difference in salinity between 
Doboy Sound and adjoining waters is 
evident in Table 5-6. Salinity trends 
were similar to those in other south- 
eastern locations, i.e., lowest in winter, 
lower in the sound than in coastal waters, 
and lower in creeks and rivers. 

'*• Temperature Distribution 

Water temperatures in Doboy Sound 
and adjacent areas followed similar 
trends with minima being recorded in 
February and maxima in July and August 
(Table 5-7). Minimum temperatures of 

<1 ^o C ^^ 7 F ^ and n,ax i' num temperatures 
>29 C (>84°F) were recorded by Mahood 



Table 5-6. 



Average monthly surface water salinities (°/oo) for indicated 
sections in the Doboy Sound estuary (October 1971 to September 
1972) (Mahood et al. 1974). 



Month 



Upper 
creeks 



Large 
creeks & 
rivers 



Sound 



Outs ide 



October 

November 

December 

January 

February 

March 

April 

May 

June 

July 

August 

September 



11.4 

12.4 

10.3 

9.6 

6.7 

14.8 

12.5 

13.8 

12.3 

15.1 

17.2 

21.5 



16.3 

19.2 

21.5 

17.3 

14.2 

13.9 

20.6 

20.9 

23.3 

22.9 

24.8 

26.1 



19.4 

23.7 

21.3 

18.0 

17.1 

15.5 

19.9 

21.8 

26.9 

23.3 

26.8 

27.9 



26.4 

24.8 

19.4 

26.2 

25.7 

31.0 

29.1 

29.5 

26.4 

30.3 

32.3 

32.6 



85 



et al. (1974) (Table 5-7). Cartel (1971) 
reported summer temperatures in 1970 
ranging from 27.9° to 31.2°C (82° to 
89°F). Surface waters are somewhat 
variable in temperature in Doboy Sound, 
since wind and precipitation can 
significantly affect temperatures. 

5 . Suspended Sediment 

Oertel (1971) found that suspended 
matter decreased overall from the North 
River to the South River, with mean con- 
centrations of 123.7 and 58.6 mg/1, 
respectively. Suspended matter content 
was highest during race tides and lowest 
at slack water, e.g., in the North River 
suspended matter was 248.0 mg/1 during 
ebb race and 74.7 mg/1 at low water 
(Oertel 1971). The concentration of 
suspended matter generally increased with 
depth, although turbulence and vertical 
mixing caused significant variations. 



Suspended matter 
exhibited several dist 
different from those o 
and South rivers. Oer 
that the distribution 
at the head of Doboy S 
for high and low tides 
region of the sound ha 
matter concentrations 
During flood race, the 
lower than at low tide 
mouth of the sound whe 



in Doboy Sound 
inctive trends 
f the North, Back, 
tel (1971) found 
of suspended matter 
ound was similar 
, while the central 
d lower suspended 
at high tide, 
sediment load was 
, except at the 
re values at the 



bottom reached 440 mg/1 (Oertel 1971). 

The ebb race sediment concentrations were 

highest (520 mg/1) at the head and 

central portion of Doboy Sound (Oertel 1971), 

6. Tidal Currents 



In general, tidal currents in Doboy 
Sound tend to follow set patterns, depend- 
ing on the effect of low salinity water 
via North, Back, and South rivers. Flood 
currents enter Doboy Sound along the 
southeastern tip of Sapelo Island, through 
the main channel, and over the Wolf 
Island shoal. Flood water is deflected 
northward by South River water to some 
extent, and complex mixing patterns occur 
due to the influence of the North and 
Back rivers (Oertel 1971). Where flood 
water interacts with South, Back, and 
North river waters, foam lines form along 
current gyres. 

Ebb currents, while weak, have little 
effect on the flow of the North, Back, 
and South rivers. Oertel (1971) found 
that as ebb currents strengthened, the 
flows from these rivers were deflected 
towards the main channel of Doboy Sound. 
Turbid mixing of the respective water 
masses increases as the ebb progresses, 
and salinity and temperature gradients 
along the channel axis reach minima after 
the maximum ebb race (Oertel 1971). 



Table 5-7. Average monthly surface water temperatures ( C) for indicated 
sections in the Doboy Sound estuary (October 1971 to 
September 1972) (Mahood et al. 1974). 



Month 



Upper 
Creeks 



Large 
creeks & 
rivers 



Sound 



Outside 



October 

November 

December 

January 

February 

March 

April 

May 

June 

July 

August 

September 



22.1 
15.7 
15.0 
17.8 
11.6 
18.7 
24.4 
24.7 
28.8 
29.3 
28.0 
29.3 



23.9 
22.1 
14.1 
16.4 
12.8 
15.6 
18.8 
23.5 
24.6 
28.5 
29.5 
26.0 



23.9 
24.0 
15.1 
16.5 
13.3 
15.6 
17.6 
23.1 
25.0 
28.9 
29.5 
26.1 



23.4 
16.5 
15.5 
16.6 
10.8 
14.6 
17.3 
24.5 
24.9 
27.5 
29.3 
27.5 



86 



Current velocities in the sound are 
quite variable. As in other tidal areas, 
there is little or no slack water at high 
or low tides. This is particularly true 
due to the discharge of the North, Back, 
and South rivers. Highest current velocities 
are found during the ebb race in surface 
waters near the center of Doboy Sound, 
while maximum flood water velocities 
occur at the southwest surface part of 
Doboy Sound. 

7. Alterations 



Man-induced alterations of Doboy Sound 
have been few in comparision to heavily 
industrialized sites such as Charleston, 
Savannah, and Jacksonville. The popula- 
tion density is also low; hence, there has 
been little man-induced change in the 
sound itself. Since the Atlantic Intra- 
coastal Waterway (AIWW) was constructed 
across Doboy Sound from Old Teakettle 
Creek to the North River in 1942, there 
has been a history of maintenance 
dredging, beginning in 1943 (Table 5-8). 
Approximately 608,047 m 3 (795,295 yd 3 ) 
of material were removed from 1943 to 
1977, most of which was silts and clays 
with some sand (Tinkler 1976). The 
dredge spoil has been dumped at dumping 
area 28, an open water site on the north- 
ern side of Commodore Island. Tract 28-A, 
a 63.0 ha (155.6 acre) site at the 
southwestern end of Little Sapelo Island, 
was designated but never used for the 
dredge spoil. (For additional dredging 
data for the Atlantic Intracoastal 
Waterway, see Chapter Six and Appendix C.) 

Natural migration of shoals at the 
mouth of Doboy Sound occurs frequently, 
due to a combination of wave and current 
action. Oertel (1971) reports that 



geometry of these shoals is affected 
more by the refraction patterns of waves 
than by tidal currents, although tidal 
currents are important in intrashoal 
sediment transport. Maximum sand trans- 
port appears to occur on topographic 
highs in association with breaking waves 
(Oertel 1971). Longshore drift within 
the breaker zone and tidal currents beyond 
the breakers are influential in the south- 
ward dispersion of sediment along Sapelo 
Beach, although topographic shielding by 
shoals restricts intense longshore 
currents from the beach during much of the 
tidal cycle (Oertel 1971). 



VI. COASTAL INLETS 



A. 



DEFINITION 



Coastal inlets are the conduits 
connecting the open oceans with estuaries 
and lagoons. Through them passes water 
carrying the 9ediment, pollutants, marine- 
estuarine biota, and navigation exchanged 
between oceans and estuaries. The Sea 
Island Coastal Region inlets are all meso- 
tidal with a 2 - 4 m (6.6 - 13.1 ft) tidal 
range. Large ebb-tidal deltas or shoals, 
extending well into the open Atlantic 
Ocean, flank the various main channels. 
The estuaries served by these inlets all 
contain extensive intertidal marshes. 

B. DYNAMICS 



1. 



Introduction 



A tidal inlet is in a state of 
dynamic equilibrium responding to long- 
shore transport, variations in the tidal 
prism, shoaling of its ocean and estuary 
termini, and man-made modifications. 
Changes in channel geometry, cross- 



Table 5-8. Volumes of maintenance dredge spoil in Doboy Sound at 
Dump Site 28 (Tinkler 1976). 



Year 



Amount in m 



Amount in yd" 



1943 
1946 
1949 
1963 
1967 
1970 
1974 
1977 
TOTAL 



121,356 
82,943 

265,074 
16,463 
13,244 
37,371 
63,088 
10,808 

608,047 



158,718 

108,485 

346,704 

21,533 

17,323 

48,880 

82,516 

14,136 

795,295 



8 7 



sectional area, longitudinal profile, and 
geographic position are the usual 
responses of a tidal inlet to the complex 
interactions of the dynamic factors 
affecting it. An empirical relationship 
has been developed by O'Brien (1967), 
relating an inlet's cross-sectional area 
to tidal prism (Fig. 5-10). 

2. Littoral Drift 



Littoral drift or longshore sand 
transport by waves is at present poorly 
known for the Sea Island Coastal Region. 
A computer simulation model has been 
made for South Carolina by Stapor and 
Murali (1978). They used the significant 
wave heights measured by the U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers at Holden Beach, 
North Carolina, and the Savannah Light 
Tower (Thompson 1977) and the approach 
direction frequencies presented by the 
U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office (1963). 
Their results indicate a complicated 
pattern of cells or compartments rather 
than one well integrated "river-of-sand" 
flowing from northeast to southwest. 
Individual cells or compartments have 
sand moving northeast as well as south- 
west and experience little transfer of 
sand from cell to cell. Magnitudes of 
net littoral transport predicted under 
this computer simulation model range 
between 5,000 m3/yr (6,540 yd3/y r ) and 
40,000 m 3 /yr (52,300 yd 3 /yr), with most 
values less than 10,000 m 3 /yr (13,080 
yd 3 /yr) . 

The above-mentioned values are 
significantly lower than littoral drift 
estimates made by University of South 
Carolina researchers using site specific, 
short-term wave climate data (Table 5-9). 
These workers employ the same formula 
as do Stapor and Murali (1978) to calcu- 
late the volume of sediment moved for 
given wave heights and approach 
directions. This difference emphasizes 
the importance of wave climate data to 
quantitative littoral drift determina- 
tions. 

A sand tracer study conducted on the Bull 
Island east-facing beach yielded littoral 
drift estimates of 93 000 m 3 /yr (121,630 
yd3/ yr ) and 185,000 m3/yr (241,960 yd3/ 
yr) for the months of April 1977 and June 
1977, repectively (Knoth and Nummedal 
1977). Wave climate differences between 
these 2 months are most likely the 
explanation for the range of values. Once 
again, the importance of wave climate to 
littoral drift determination is apparent. 

a. Wave Heights . Relatively small 
waves affect the Sea Island Coastal 
Region. Wave monitoring stations operated 
by the Coastal Engineering Research Center 
(CERC) of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
are located at Holden Beach, North 
Carolina L16 miles (26 km) north of the 



North Carolina/South Carolina border ] , 
and at the Savannah Coast Guard Light 
Tower, 9 nautical miles (16.7 km) offshore 
of Tybee Island in 52 ft (15.8 m) of 
water. The next closest monitoring 
stations are at Wrightsville Beach, North 
Carolina, and Daytona Beach, Florida. 
Significant wave heights (the average 
height of the one-third highest waves) and 
significant periods for waves measured 
at these stations are presented in 
Table 5-10. The value obtained from the 
Holden Beach gage more likely reflects 
overall Sea Island Coastal Region signif- 
icant wave heights along the beaches 
than does the value measured at the 
Savannah Light Tower. The former was 
measured very close to shore at a fishing 
pier while the latter was measured off- 
shore in 52 ft (15.8 m) of water. 

b. Wave Approach Directions . 
Waves approach the Sea Island Coastal 
Region from only four major directions: 
northeast, east, southeast, and south. 
Stapor and Murali (1978) concluded from 
a computer simulation of wave refraction 
for South Carolina that waves approaching 
from the northeast are not refracted 
sufficiently to hit South Carolina. 
However, given the north-south shoreline 
orientation of coastal Georgia, northeast 
waves will hit and influence littoral 
drift. Waves approaching from the south 
probably do affect the South Carolina 
coast but not the Georgia coast. Waves 
approaching the Sea Island Coastal Region 
from the east and southeast affect the 
entire coast and influence littoral drift. 
Waves approaching from the northeast 
probably affect only coastal Georgia and 
those from the south probably affect 

only coastal South Carolina. Frequencies 
of occurrence of these wave approach 
directions are known only from offshore 
observations collected by ships and 
summarized for relatively large areas. 
No long-term directional data are avail- 
able from shore-based observations. 
Figure 5-11 presents the available long- 
term wave climate data, broken down into 
sea and swell components, for the Sea 
Island Coastal Region. 

c. Summary . The exact nature of 
the wave-induced littoral drift affecting 
the tidal inlets is poorly and contra- 
dictorily known at best. Given the 
relatively low wave energy incident upon 
the Sea Island Coastal Region, the 
estimates of Stapor and Murali (1978), 
using long-term wave climate data, may 

be closer to the true order of magnitude 
than those of Finley (1976), Nummedal and 
Humphries (1978), Knoth and Nummedal 
(1977), or Kana (1976). 

C. MORPHOLOGIC CLASSIFICATION 

Morphologically, the Sea Island 
Coastal Region inlets can be classified 



88 



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A-"MIWMUM CROSS SECTIONAL AREA (Ft 2 ) 
A • 4.69 X I0" 4 P° - i9 



Figure 5-10. The empirical relationships between an inlet's cross-sectional area 
and spring tidal prism (adapted from O'Brien 1967). This curve 
relates the spring tidal prism (volume of water exchanged on each 
tide) with the cross-sectional area ot the inlet's throat or 
narrowest region. 



89 



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SWELL DIAGRAM 





%N0 SWELL 
% CON ru« CO 

LOW (!-•') 
MOOCRATE (•-«') 
MMH (> It') 



SEA DIAGRAM 





%C*LM 
%OONFUMO 

MINT!< J') 
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Figure 5-11. Sea and swell data for the Sea Island Coastal Region, from 
U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office (1963). These data were 
obtained from observations collected offshore. Sea refers 
to "waves caused by winds at the place and time of observa- 
tion" (American Geological Institute 1962) and swell refers 
to "waves that have passed beyond the region of the winds 
which formed them . . ." (Strahler 1971). 



92 



into three groups: 1) those inlets 
whose main ebb channel is aligned 
perpendicular to the coast (class D of 
Oertel 1977), 2) those inlets in which 
this channel is aligned subparallel to 
the coast (class B of Oertel 1977), and 
3) those inlets in which there is no 
one main ebb-channel (class A of Oertel 
1977). A class D inlet has an ebb-tidal 
delta symmetrically arranged about the 
main ebb-channel (Fig. 5-12), while that 
of a Class B inlet is crescent-shaped, 
attached to one barrier island, running 
in front of the other island. Light- 
house Inlet, Jeremy Inlet, St. Catherines 
Sound, and McQueen Inlet are examples 
of Class D inlets (Atlas plates 3, 6, 
8, and 9). Winyah Bay Entrance (prior 
to jetty construction), Capers Inlet, 
Tybee Creek Inlet, and Hampton River Inlet 
are examples of Class B inlets (Atlas 
plates 1, 5, 8, and 9) . 

Class A inlets have no single, well- 
developed, ebb-channel crossing the ebb- 
tidal delta. This type is typically 
found where small tidal creeks emerge 
directly into the open Atlantic; however, 
the deltas of larger tidal creeks may also 
exhibit this form. The Folly and 
Christmas Creek are examples of Class A 
inlets (Atlas plates 6 and 10). Table 
5-11 classifies all Sea Island Coastal 
Region inlets as belonging in Class A, 
B, or D and, in addition, presents data 
from Nummedal et al. (1977) on estuary- 
lagoon size, maximum main channel depth, 
and flood-tidal delta area. 



D. 



EBB-TIDAL DELTAS 



1. Origin 

All inlets of the Sea Island Coastal 
Region are characterized by extensive 
ebb-tidal deltas or shoals projecting 
out into the open Atlantic Ocean and the 
near absence of flood-tidal deltas 
protruding into the estuaries. This 
situation has been directly related to, 
among other factors, the time-velocity 
asymmetry of tidal currents. The flood 
tide operates over a longer portion of 
the tidal cycle than does the ebb tide 
and in order to balance the respective 
tidal prisms (the volume of water 
exchanged on each tide), the ebb veloci- 
ties are significantly greater than flood 
velocities (Postma 1967, Nummedal et al. 
1977). This asymmetry is thought to be 
primarily caused by the geometry of the 
estuary (Nummedal et al. 1977). In an 
estuary with extensive intertidal marshes 
and mudflats, the inlet is mach less 
efficient in transporting water to flood 
the vast expanses of broad, intertidal 
flats. As a result, estuarine high water 
lags behind oceanic high water. No such 
lag exists at low water because only 
the narrow creeks are involved in moving 
water throughout the estuary. Thus, the 



inlet channel becomes ebb-dominant, 
favoring the creation of ebb-tidal deltas 
over flood-tidal deltas. 



2. Symmetry 

The overall symmetry of the ebb- 
tidal delta is largely a function of the 
relative magnitudes of 1) longshore or 
littoral transport (wave-induced sand 
transport parallel to shore), and 2) 
the strength of the ebb-tidal jet. The 
dominance of longshore transport produces 
crescent-shaped deltas attached to the 
updrift shore and curving in the down- 
drift direction across the inlet. 
Dominance of the ebb-tidal jet produces 
a delta symmetric about the main ebb 
channel which is oriented perpendicular 
to the coast. 

3. Geomorphic Nomenclature 

Nomenclature describing ebb-tidal 
delta morphology has been developed by 
Hayes (1969) and Oertel (1972) and is 
presented in Figure 5-12. The main ebb 
channel is flanked by the ebb-tidal 
delta or ramp margin shoals upon which 
are found swash platforms, channel margin 
linear bars, and swash bars. The delta 
has a terminal lobe or distal shoals at 
its oceanward end. Marginal flood 
channels typically occur between the delta 
proper and the adjacent beaches. Oertel 
(1972) noted from observations made in the 
Sea Island Coastal Region that ramp margin 
shoals may be either attached to the 
barrier island or segmented from it by 
marginal flood, spillover, and funnel 
channels. Ebb-directed tidal currents 
predominate in the main ebb channel and 
flood-directed ones predominate in the 
marginal flood channels. Wave activity is 
at least as important as tidal current 
activity in constructing the swash plat- 
forms and predominates in the formation 
of swash bars (Oertel 1972, Fitzgerald 
1977). Interaction between waning, ebb- 
directed tidal currents, and ocean waves 
determines the geometry and geographic 
location of the terminal lobe. 

4. Sediments 



The nature and distribution of 
sediments comprising a Sea Island 
Coastal Region ebb-tidal delta complex 
have been described by Howard and Reineck 
(1972), Oertel (1975b), and Frey and Pinet 
(1978). A generalized picture of bottom 
sediment types in presented in Figure 
5-13. Typically, sand is the dominant 
sediment comprising the ebb-tidal delta or 
ramp margin shoal and the terminal lobe. 
Sand mixed with mud or clay characterizes 
the sloping sides of the main ebb channel 
with the mud content increasing toward 
the bottom of the channel. A lag gravel 
of very coarse sand and shell overlying 



93 






FLOOD 
CHANNEL 



EBB W 

SHIELD 




EBB-TIOAL DELTA 



TL ANT« 



»»»«M (*•( 



ftAMP-MAMIN tMOALt 
(•(•MCNTIO) 




OltTAL SHOAL* 
•WASH 

NtAMP-HAMIN tHOAL* 
(ATTACHED) 

* "iriLL-OVCR CMANNILt" 



Figure 5-12. Tidal delta morphology nomenclature according to Hayes (1969) and 
Oertel (1972) . 



94 



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Figure 5-13. Textural and structural characteristics of the sea bed adjacent 
to Georgia estuary entrances (Certel 1975b): 1. clean sand, 
2. clean sand with mud lenses, 3. interbedded sand and mud, 
4. mud pebbles in clean sand, 5. interbedded mud and poorly 
sorted sand, 6. coarse sediment "lag gravel" over Tertiary 
bedrock outcrop. 



•7 



exposed Tertiary bedrock frequently 
occurs at the deepest part of the main 
ebb channel. 

5. Dynamics 

The sands comprising these ebb deltas 
are not redistributed up and down the 
coast. These deltas or shoals remain 
essentially in their original location, 
changing in geometry under the influence 
of waves and tidal currents, and dominate 
their immediate region (Oertel and Howard 
1972, Hayes 1977, Olsen 1977, Stapor 1977, 
and Finley 1978). They cause wave refrac- 
tion and establish local, inlet-directed 
littoral drift reversals, insuring inlet- 
directed sand transport from waves as well 
as tidal currents. 

a. Erosion and Deposition Rates . 
Stapor (1977) has measured volumes of 
sand eroded and deposited over the past 
100 years at the Stono Inlet, and Olsen 
(1977) has done the same for the St. Marys 
Entrance (Figs. 5-14, 5-15, and 5-16). 
Both studies indicate extensive reworking 



of the respective ebb-tidal deltas by 

1) shifts in the main ebb channel, and 

2) wave action moving sand across the 
delta. A major conclusion drawn by 
Oertel and Howard (1972), Stapor (1977), 
and Olsen (1977) is that the larger ebb 
deltas are essentially complete littoral 
traps, intercepting sand moving up and 
down the coast and holding it in the 
delta. Modifications to the main ebb 
channel, such as jetties, greatly enhance 
the trapping effectiveness of these larger 
deltas (Olsen 1977). 

b. Evolutionary Changes . The ebb- 
tidal deltas of these coastal inlets are 
in a state of dynamic equilibrium, 
changing their geometries in response to 
fluctuations in littoral sand supply 
(direction and amount), wave climate, 
tidal prism, and freshwater discharge, to 
name just a few of the major parameters. 
Oertel's (1977) classification for Sea 
Island Coastal Region inlets uses the 
relative importance of onshore, offshore, 
and longshore currents (Fig. 5-17). 
Furthermore, he recognizes that Class A 







504iifJ 880±§gj 

(All volumes x I0 4 meters 3 ) 
S MARSH 



DELTA 



KILOMETERS 




NAUTICAL MILES 



Figure 5-14. Net volumes of sediment deposited and eroded at the Stono Inlet between 1862 and 1921 
(Stapor 1977). Net erosion and deposition are balanced, suggesting that significant 
quantities of littoral drift are either 1) not moving into the inlet-delta system or 
2) completely bypassing it. 



98 



inlets can change into Class B and vice 
versa. This genetic interrelationship 
is presented in the georaorphic cycles of 
ebb deltas in Figure 5-17. Class A 
deltas progress from youth to maturity 
to old age and then to Class B deltas. 
Class D deltas move through youth- 
maturity-old age stages as they change 
from being attached to separated from 
the ramp margin shoals (Figs. 5-12 and 
5-17). 

E. MAN'S MODIFICATION 

The migrating habit of these inlets 
and ever-increasing vessel size have 
necessitated that modifications be under- 
taken at inlets serving major ports and 
even fishing villages. Winyah Bay 
Entrance, Charleston Harbor Entrance, and 
St. Marys River Entrance have been 
modified with stone jetties, all begun 
in the late nineteenth century and 
completed in the early twentieth century, 
with deepened channels extending out 
onto the nearshore continental shelf. 
These structures have affected the 
adjacent islands, resulting in significant 



erosion and deposition. The Charleston 
Harbor jetties have probably caused 
significant deposition to take place on 
Morris Island (Stapor 1977), and those 
at St. Marys Entrance have caused both 
erosion and deposition to take place 
on Cumberland and Amelia islands (Olsen 
1977). The Winyah Bay Entrance jetties 
have resulted in deposition on both North 
and South islands. Natural channels have 
been deepened and are , with variable 
success, maintained at Murrells Inlet, 
Five Fathom Creek (Bulls Bay), the Stono 
Inlet, Port Royal Sound, Tybee Roads 
(Savannah River Entrance Channel), St. 
Simons Sound (Brunswick Harbor Entrance 
Channel), and St. Marys River Entrance 
(Cumberland Sound). 




MARSH 



NAUTICAL MILES 



5-15. Net volumes of sediment deposited and eroded at the Stono Inlet between 1921 and 1964 
(Stapor 1977). Net erosion and deposition are balanced, suggesting that significant 
quantities of littoral drift are either 1) not moving into the inlet-delta system or 
2) completely bypassing it. 



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100 



Youth - Broad, short, triangular sand body, 
hummocky surface with elevated swash bars and 
swash platforms; submarine part of sand body 
extends toward axis of inlet channel as 
offshore: stable shoreline features. 



Maturity - Narrow, long, triangular 
sand body, surface hummocky with 
elevated swash bars and platforms. 
Submarine portion of sand body ex- 
tends primarily offshore. Erosional 
retreat of channelward side of shoal 
and island; development of several 
narrow "spill-over" channels which 
terminate in center of shoal. 



Old Age - Narrow, long, triangular sand body; 
extensive erosion along channelward side of 
shoal and island. 




Old Age - Broad, short, triangular sand 
body separated from island by broad, shallow 
"spill-over" channel; extensive shoaling in 

spill-over" channels; extensive accretion 
at beach adjacent to proximal end of 



shoal . 



Maturity - Broad, segmented shoal 
separated from island by well 
developed "spill-over" channels, 
extensive longshore development 

of shoal and beach adjacent to 
proximal end of shoal. 



Youth - Narrow, segmented shoal sepa- 
rated from island; initial dissection of 
sand body by "spill-over" channels; initial 
reconstruction of beach at proximal end of 
shoal: erosion of beach in lee of the shoal. 



A 




B in 




f\ TIDAL DELTA 




Youth - Broad, shortened arcuate delta with 
numerous "spill-over" channels and reen- 
trants evenly distributed along the axis 
of the delta; adjacent beach generally 
accreting. /h° 



Maturity - Elongated arcuate delta; 
reentrants on the upstream part of 
delta becoming shallow, restric- 
ting water flow; initial erosion at 
downstream channel bank. 



Old Age - Elongated, hummocky spit with 
shallow reentrants, one relatively deep re- 
entrant at downstream (distal) end of down- 
stream channel bank at proximal end of spit. 




d 



Old Age - Narrow, elongated spit with small 
"spill-over" channels extending from scour 
bows; initial beach development on down- 
stream channel bank, stable beach at 
distal end of spit. 

Maturity - Narrow, elongated spit 
with scour bows on landward side, 
spit is displaced landward and 
downstream from its youthful 
position; flow restricted to one 
or two channels at distal end of 
spit; extensive erosion of beach 
at proximal end of spit. 

Youth - Broad, elongated spit with 
swash bars and platforms and no obvious 
"spill-over" channels or reentrants, flow re- 
stricted to one or two main channels at distal 
end of spit; extensive erosion along downstream 
channel bank and beach at proximal end of spit. 



Figure 5-17. Ebb-tidal delta geomorphic cycles, after Oertel (1977). Littoral drift is a 
significant parameter in types A and B but is not in type D. 



101 



CHAPTER SIX 

SUMMARY OF PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL 
ALTERATIONS 



Basically, environmental alterations 
can be classified as natural and man- 
induced. The purpose of this chapter is 
to summarize those physical and chemical 
changes which have occurred within the 
Sea Island Coastal Region, with special 
emphasis on estuarine areas. While many 
ecological interactions are implied in 
this section, the reader should refer to 
Volume III (Biological Features) for more 
detailed discussions on functional rela- 
tionships and pertinent literature 
sources. Much information in this 
chapter was written from first-hand 
experience by the authors and from 
information gathered from the other 
volumes of this study. Therefore, 
references are not extensively cited 
throughout this section. 

I. NATURAL ALTERATIONS 

It is well recognized that if an 
equilibrium exists in the Sea Island 
Coastal Region, it is a dynamic 
equilibrium, and that short-term devia- 
tions from this equilibrium can be 
expected. Many times these variations 
are extreme and relate heavily to man's 
use of the coastal environment. 

The major "natural" forces exerted 
on this region include waves, tide, winds, 
currents, rainfall, river discharge, 
temperature, and other meteorological 
phenomena. These forces are responsible 
for the basic physical character of the 
region, and cause short- and long-term 
variations in the coastal environment 
(see Chapter Four). 

Among the most important natural 
factors affecting the Sea Island Coastal 
Region are the tidal and wind-generated 
currents which play a key role in making 
the sea edge a highly variable and complex 
environment (see Chapter Five). Not only 
do currents constitute the principal 
mechanism by which interchanges of fresh 
and salt water occur, but the resulting 
circulation patterns also are known to 
greatly influence the distribution of 
1) other chemical components of the water 
in addition to salinity, 2) physical 
properties such as temperature, 3) 
suspended matter, and 4) biological 
populations. 

Another physical fact that relates 
to the natural characteristics of this 
region is that the Atlantic Ocean is not 
a limitless reservoir, and individual 
estuaries are not totally independent of 
one another. Materials dispersed via 
individual estuarine systems into the 



ocean are exchanged between one estuarine 
system and another along the coastline 
of the Sea Island Coastal Region 
(Neiheisel and Weaver 1967). Therefore, 
estuarine pollution must be considered 
on a regional basis rather than on the 
basis of political boundaries. Pollu- 
tants dumped into Charleston Harbor may 
be carried southward with the littoral 
current and eventually into Savannah and 
Brunswick harbors. Also, estuaries are 
not "open-ended" systems, and pollutants 
released into these systems may remain 
there through tidal oscillations and the 
same mechanisms that trap nutrients 
(see Chapter Five). Pollutants may simply 
move back and forth within estuaries. 

The effects of natural environmental 
perturbations can be quite important 
with respect to natural resources, 
tourism, etc. The extremely cold winters 
of 1977 and 1978 killed shrimp crops and 
caused economic hardship for shrimpers. 
Excessive freshwater runoff has seriously 
depleted oyster populations on occasion, 
and has driven many marine and estuarine 
organisms from tidal creeks. Cold weather 
has also damaged coastal agricultural 
crops and hurt tourism. Overall, the 
impact of natural perturbations can 
seriously affect the coastal region, 
especially in a financial sense. However, 
these are exceptions rather than the rule, 
and the weather of coastal South Carolina 
and Georgia is an asset in attracting out- 
of-state tourists in winter along with 
respective upstate citizens in summer 
(see Volume II, Chapter Nine). 

II. MAN-INDUCED ALTERATIONS 

Man-made coastal alterations in the 
Sea Island Coastal Region are related 
primarily to 1) agriculture; 2) dredging 
and filling in coastal waters for naviga- 
tion, water transportation, housing and 
industry; 3) dune destruction in develop- 
ment of barrier islands; 4) water utili- 
zation for effluent discharge, power 
generation, and related water development 
projects; 5) insect control activities; 

6) various upstream activities; and 

7) recreation. The reader should refer 

to Volume III (Chapters Three and Four) for 
detailed discussions on ecological effects 
of the above physiochemical activities. 

A. CAUSES 

1 . Agriculture 

Much of the land area in the Sea 
Island Coastal Region is used for agricul- 
ture (see Volume II, Chapters Three and 
Six). While the impact of agriculture on 
the region's physiography is obvious 
through such activities as land clearing, 
soil cultivation, irrigation, drainage, 
etc. (Clark 1977), it is the insidious 
effects on water quality that have 



102 



demanded the most attention in the 
estuarine environment. 

Clearing land of trees and other 
vegetation to plant crops alters the land 
surface. Without vegetative cover, soil 
erosion by wind or water takes place. 
The amount of soil erosion depends upon 
rainfall patterns, wind patterns, slope 
of the land, soil permeability, land use 
practices employed, and the amount of 
vegetative covering (U.S. Department of 
Agriculture 1975). In the coastal plain, 
soils are underlain by marine sands, loams, 
and/or clays, with good surface and 
internal drainage (Georgia Department of 
Natural Resources 1976). Erosion can be a 
problem, especially on sandy hills, if 
fields are fallow. 

Cultivation alters the structure of 
the soil by compressing, lifting, and 
moving particles. If moisture in the soil 
is such that plowing can be accomplished 
without compaction, minimal damage occurs. 
However, high amounts of subsoil moisture 
can cause the farming implement to compact 
soil so that drainage and aeration are 
impaired. The land ideally should be 
cultivated when soil moisture is minimal, 
such as at the end of the crop season 
(U.S. Department of Agriculture 1975). 
Improper use of machinery, such as the 
disk harrow, may cause reduction of 
particle size (U.S. Department of 
Agriculture 1975). Soil particles become 
so fine that soil pore sizes decrease to 
the point that rain can no longer perco- 
late through the soil but must run off the 
surface, which in turn increases the 
sediment load in natural surface waters. 

Important alterations result from 
implementation of supporting practices 
for agricultural land such as channel- 
ing, contour plowing, stripcropplng, 
terracing, and diversion terracing. Each 
method is designed to improve soil 
conditions and reduce soil and water loss. 
On sloping land, canals serve as outlets 
for terraces and contour rows by tunnel- 
ing water without erosion of soil. 
Stripcropping, the practice of cultivating 
parallel to land contours, is effective 
on well-drained cultivated soils on 
sloping land where rainfall causes erosion 
(.U.S. Department of Agriculture 1957). 
These methods apply to parts of the 
coastal plain with gentle to moderate 
slopes. Terraces or ridges built across 
a slope help contain water long enough for 
it to soak into the soil or to flow off 
the field at a slower rate. These methods 
were used for many years, but were inade- 
quate to protect soils of the coast; I 
watershed of Georgia, even when residues 
were left on the land (Georgia Department 
of Natural Resources 1976). 

Agriculture and silviculture 
practices can significantly decrease the 



quality of water flowing into coastal 
areas and cause drastic adverse reactions 
in aquatic life (Butler 1968). Land run- 
off from agricultural areas carries 
fertilizers (nitrates and phosphates), 
herbicides, pesticides, and silt, any 
of which acting alone or in combination 
may be lethal to aquatic life, particu- 
larly larval forms. Nitrates and phos- 
phates may not be toxic directly, but high 
concentrations encourage algal blooms 
which lead to eutrophication and possible 
oxygen depletion. Pesticides and herbi- 
cides can be toxic in concentrations of 
parts per million, and concentrations of 
parts per billion are known to cause 
behavior and reproduction abnormalities. 

Pesticides most commonly enter the 
coastal waters in runoff from agriculture 
and forest lands (Butler 1968). The 
reader is referred to Volume III for 
discussions on biological magnification 
of the chlorinated hydrocarbons and their 
effects on marine and estuarine organisms. 

The use of chemicals to control fire 
ants, saltmarsh mosquitoes, flies, and 
other noxious insects has been of special 
concern in the study area. Mirex, a 
chlorinated hydrocarbon compound, was used 
over vast marshland areas to eradicate 
fire ants in the late 1960 's and early 
1970's (McKenzie 1970). Today, due to 
Federal restrictions, this pesticide is 
used only inland on agricultural lands. 
Thus, mirex enters the estuarine food 
chain through agriculture runoff. This 
compound has been found to be lethal to 
fish and wildlife when applied at standard 
rates (Mahood et al. 1970, McKenzie 1970). 

Chemical control of saltmarsh mos- 
quitoes has caused pesticide pollution 
in the study area. Formerly, DDT was 
the most commonly used compound in 
coastal South Carolina and Georgia for 
adult mosquitoes. Its effects on aquatic 
organisms have been well documented 
(Lowe 1965, Butler 1963). Present meth- 
odology involves the use of malathion or 
Paris green (copper acetoarsenite) 
vermiculite pellets or No. 2 fuel oil 
with a surfactant in the marshes to kill 
mosquito larvae (see Volume III). 

General and site-specific cases of 
agriculture pollution are included in the 
following section on water quality of 
river basins of the study area. 

2. Urbanization and Industrialization 

Urbanization and industrialization 
are responsible for both short- and long- 
term effects on the study area. Demo- 
graphic and socioeconomic trends in 
South Carolina and Georgia project a rapid 
increase of private waterfront development 
for residential purposes (see Volume II, 
Chapter Three). Thus, water-oriented 



103 



housing developments will increasingly 
become a major concern in estuarine areas. 
Sheer population numbers, coupled with 
growth of estuary-oriented economic 
centers, will place heavy demands on 
estuarine lands. Land will be needed for 
housing, industry, commerce, trans- 
portation terminals, and recreational 
facilities. Urbanization and industriali- 
zation will affect estuaries in three 
primary ways: 1) competitive demands for 
existing waterfront will greatly increase; 

2) waste disposal problems will become 
greater and will constitute an even more 
serious estuarine pollution problem; and 

3) urban demands will multiply the number 
of space-demanding power generating, water, 
and waste disposal facilities within 
estuarine areas. 

Concomitant with demands of urbani- 
zation are those for recreation (see 
Volume II, Chapter Nine). The economic 
importance of water-oriented recreational 
activities to coastal communities cannot 
be overstated. Recreation and tourism 
often rank at least third in terms of in- 
come for even large, diversified, urban 
economies. Many forms of recreation 
including swimming, sport fishing, sail 
boating, sight-seeing, and bird watching 
have little effect on aquatic resources. 
Other forms (e.g., power boating) may have 
indirect effects such as harassment and 
noise pollution. Support facilities for 
boats affect water quality. Marinas are 
point sources for the introduction of 
hydrocarbons, solid waste, and domestic 
waste. The effects of leached chemicals 
from treated pilings from piers and 
marinas also contribute to the chronic, 
low concentration of dissolved foreign 
materials in estuarine waters. Socio- 
economic effects of urbanization and 
industrialization in the Sea Island 
Coastal Region are discussed in Chapters 
Two through Four of Volume II. 

3. Mining 

Mining industries are few in South 
Carolina and Georgia coastal areas, with 
limestone, coquina, and sand mining 
receiving the most attention. Currently, 
there are several large coquina pits in 
the Little River area which have destroyed 
emergent marsh and interrupted natural 
water circulation. The largest of these 
is about 20 acres (8 ha). Sand is the 
only mineral mined commercially in the 
Georgia coastal region. In 1972, a total 
of seven mining companies were operating 
along the major coastal rivers for sand 
(see Chapter Two). 

Phosphate has not been mined in 
South Carolina since 1938, but the 
potential exists for mining phosphate in 
Georgia. Although no operations exist 
at Lie present time, mining could be 
accomplished presently or in the near 



future at a known phosphate ore-body 
deposit in the area of Chatham County, 
south of the South Carolina line and 
north of Ossabaw Sound. If phosphate 
mining is proposed, in addition to poten- 
tial impacts on coastal marshlands, 
fisheries, and air and water resources, 
mining activities could adversely affect 
the groundwater aquifer that is important 
to coastal Georgia. 

Although oil and gas exploration has 
only recently commenced in outer conti- 
nental shelf waters off South Carolina and 
Georgia, petroleum-related activities will 
probably have greater impact onshore than 
offshore. Impacts ranging from oil spills 
to development of major production facil- 
ities, and from navigational hazards to 
pipeline corridors could drastically alter 
the environment and economy of the Sea 
Island Coastal Region of both States (see 
Volume II, Chapter Four). 

4. Dredging and Filling - 
Navigation Projects 

Dredge and fill activities in the Sea 
Island Coastal Region are most often 
associated with urbanization and navi- 
gation. The general impacts of coastal 
development and urbanization have been 
discussed previously. For a more detailed 
discussion on ecological effects of 
dredging and filling, the reader is 
referred to Volume III. Coastal alter- 
ations related to navigation and water 
transportation in the study area are 
emphasized in this section. 

There are seven major navigation 
projects within the Sea Island Coastal 
Region which have large-scale physical 
impacts: 1) the Georgetown Harbor- 
Winyah Bay Project, 2) the Charleston 
Harbor Project, 3) Port Royal Harbor 
Project, 4) the Savannah Harbor Project, 
5) the Brunswick Harbor Project, 6) 
Kings Bay-St. Marys Entrance Project, 
and 7) the Atlantic Intracoastal Water- 
way Project. The disposal of dredged 
material during construction and main- 
tenance of the first six projects has 
resulted in the diking of over 14,000 
acres (5,656 ha) of coastal marsh. This 
is approximately 1.5% of the total Sea 
Island Coastal Region marsh acreage. 
The seventh project, the Atlantic Intra- 
coastal Waterway, potentially can impact 
2.6% of the total Sea Island Coastal 
Region marsh acreage if all easements 
were to be fully utilized. 

The following sections present his- 
torical data on the seven major navigation 
projects in the study area. Unless other- 
wise noted, data presented in this section 
pertaining to navigation projects were 
obtained from the annual report series of 
the Chief of Engineers on Civil Works 
Activities, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 



104 



for the years 1878 - 1977. Annual 
dredging data for the first six of these 
navigation projects are presented in 
Appendix C of this volume. Summaries of 
these data, by project depth, are shown 
in Table 6-1. 

a. Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway . 
The Intracoastal Waterway is a system of 
dredged channels cut through rivers, 
estuaries, sounds, and uplands to provide 
a protected inside passage, as opposed 
to an outside passage in the open Atlantic 
Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, from New England 
to Texas. The Atlantic Intracoastal 
Waterway (AIWW) is the east coast portion 
of this important navigation system. The 
present 12 ft MLW x 90 ft (3.7 m x 27.4 m) 
channel was completed in 1940 in South 
Carolina and 1941 in Georgia. The AIWW is 
used by both commercial and recreational 
vessels. The channel is largely cut 
through coastal salt marsh in the Sea 
Island Coastal Region (see Atlas plates 
31 - 40), with only short lengths cut 
through sandy high land except for the 
stretch in Horry County, South Carolina, 
which traverses sandy high land for a dis- 
tance of 22 mi (35 km). The Charleston 
District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 
has responsibility for construction and 
maintenance of the AIWW from the North 
Carolina/South Carolina State line near 
Little River, South Carolina, to Port 
Royal Sound, Beaufort County, South 
Carolina. The Savannah District, U.S. 
Army Corps of Engineers, has AIWW con- 
struction and maintenance responsiblity 
from Port Royal Sound to the Georgia/ 
Florida State line. 

The earliest construction along the 
present-day AIWW occurred in the late 
1850' s when the State of South Carolina 
dredged Elliots Cut between Wappoo Creek 
and the Stono River, Charleston County 
(U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 1976a). 
Table 6-2 presents a history of the AIWW 
in South Carolina and Georgia as well 
as the lengths of respective segments, 
volumes of material removed during 
initial construction (new work) and 
maintenance dredging, and disposal ease- 
ment acreages. Tinkler (1976) presents 
a detailed history of the AIWW in Georgia 
and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
(1976b) does the same for South Carolina. 

Construction and maintenance of the 
AIWW have resulted in the destruction and/ 
or alteration of much of the terrain it 
traverses, particularly the coastal 
marshes of South Carolina and Georgia. 
Disposal easements located along th=> canal 
include some 25,000 acres (10,100 ha) of 
salt marsh which are designated as dis- 
posal sites for dredged material. (See 
Table 6-2 and Atlas plates 31 - 40.) 
Disposal of material dredged from the 
channel poses a continuous threat to the 
saltmarsh habitat. At present, the most 



economical method of disposal (U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers 1976a, b,c) is to 
place dredged material on adjacent marshes. 
Of the 25,000 acres (10,100 ha) of salt 
marsh disposal easements in the Sea 
Island Coastal Region, 2,365 acres (957 
ha) are presently diked, a method which 
completely destroys the salt marsh (see 
Table 6-2). Diking of saltmarsh disposal 
easements is commonly employed in South 
Carolina, but rarely practiced in Georgia. 

Arguments for and against diking of 
saltmarsh disposal easements center around 
retention effectiveness and water quality. 
The former has been used as a major 
argument by the Charleston District Corps 
of Engineers to justify the diking of 
disposal areas (U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers 1976a). However, the Savannah 
District Corps of Engineers has not ad- 
vanced this argument, even in the face of 
its significantly greater maintenance 
problem. The Savannah District uses 
unconfined disposal areas, advancing the 
argument that unconfined disposal mini- 
mizes marsh alteration (U.S. Army Corps 
of Engineers 1976b). The water quality 
question has been investigated to some 
extent by the Savannah District (Windom 
1972a, b, 1975). These studies suggest 
that retention of water and dredged 
material within a diked area prior to 
water release does not improve its quality, 
and in polluted areas, quality may be 
impaired (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
1976b). 

Vessels using the AIWW have caused 
locally serious bank erosion, resulting 
in significant shoreline retreat. This 
erosion is most prevalent where the AIWW 
crosses sandy high land, as in Horry County, 
South Carolina, and Goat Island, Charleston 
County, South Carolina. Waves (wakes) 
generated by passing boats and barges are 
responsible for most of the bank erosion. 

b. Georgetown Harbor-Winyah Bay. 
Georgetown Harbor proper lies in the lower 
reaches of the Sampit River, a tidal 
stream flowing into Winyah Bay. Early 
bathymetry charts (pre-navigation projects) 
show controlling depths of 9 - 12 ft (2.7 - 
3.7 m) MLW separating sinuous channels 
with depths to 18 - 20 ft (5.5 - 6.1 m) 
MLW in the bay and lower Sampit River 
(U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey 1853). 

Construction began on the existing 
27 ft (8.2 m) MLW project in 1947 and was 
completed in 1951. Although the project 
depth of 27 ft (8.2 m) MLW is presently 
being maintained, project widths along the 
entire channel length are not. A detailed 
map of this area showing harbor bathym- 
etry and spoil areas is presented on 
Atlas plate 4 3- A ). 

Annual dredging data from 1885 - 
1977 are presented in Appendix Table C-l. 



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107 



Analysis of these data reveals that 
an average of approximately 375,000 
yd /yr (287,000 m3/yr) of maintenance 
dredging were required to maintain an 
18 ft (5.5 m) MLW project depth between 
1912 - 1946. Maintenance dredging re- 
quirements increased almost fourfold to 
over 1,400,000 yd 3 /yr (1,070,000 m /yr) 
when the project depth was increased to 
27 ft (8.2 m) MLW beginning in 1947. 
Summaries of the historical dredging 
data, by project depth, are presented in 
Table 6-1. 

Construction of the 27 ft (8.2 m) 
MLW project dramatically increased main- 
tenance dredging requirements in certain 
key portions of the project area as 
compared with those for the 18 ft (5.5 m) 
MLW project. For example, maintenance 
dredging requirements for the Sampit 
River increased 10-fold, while those for 
the entrance channel increased 9.5-fold. 

The 9.5-fold increase in maintenance 
spoil resulting from dredging the entrance 
channel is perhaps the easiest to account 
for since the previous 18 ft (5.5 m) MLW 
channel was completely within the jetties 
(see Figs. 6-1 and 6-2) which extend to 
the 18 ft (5.5 m) MLW isobath, while the 
existing 27 ft (8.2 m) MLW channel extends 
out onto the nearshore shelf. This latter 
channel intercepts sand moving both north 
and south parallel to the coast as well as 
any sand swept into the entrance by 
flooding tidal currents. The north jetty 
serves to trap littoral drift moving south 
along the North Island beach as well as 
material moving into the entrance channel 
by flooding tidal currents. This has 
resulted in an average deposition rate of 
44,000 m 3 /yr (57,548 yd 3 /yr) for the 
southern tip of the island (Figs. 6-1 and 
6-2). The original Winyah Bay ebb-tidal 
delta has been largely destroyed since 
completion of the south jetty, coincident 
with the net seaward growth of South 
Island (Stapor 1980a). Shoreward trans- 
port of the ebb-delta's sand by waves and 
tidal currents probably resulted in the 
growth of South Island (Figs. 6-1 and 
6-2). 

The 10-fold maintenance dredging 
increase for the Samnit River indicates 
that it has become an even more efficient 
sediment trap. Deepening of the Sampit 
River some 10 - 15 ft (3.0 - 4.6 m) below 
its natural depth with limited, if any, 
attendant increase in its discharge has 
resulted in the creation of an efficient 
sediment trap. Density stratification 
(the creation of a salt wedge) has 
probably moved further and further upbay 
since the original modification to 
Winyah Bay in the late nineteenth century, 
adding to the efficiency of the Sampit 
River as a sediment trap. 



c. Charleston Harbor . Major 
alterations to the physiography of 
Charleston Harbor are the result of 
various navigation projects undertaken 
to improve and maintain port facilities. 
Naturally occurring depths within this 
estuary were more than sufficient to 
accommodate sailing and other vessels 
of the early nineteenth and twentieth 
centuries. However, the ebb-tidal delta 
extending from Sullivans Island southwest 
and seaward of Morris Island to Lighthouse 
Inlet had controlling depths of only 
12.0 - 13.5 ft (3.7 - 4.1 m) MLW (U.S. 
Coast and Geodetic Survey 1851). 

A jetty project was proposed in the 
1870' s to secure a 21 ft (6.4 m) MLW 
channel across this ebb-tidal delta. 
Construction began in 1878 and was 
completed in 1896. Since then, deeper 
and deeper channels have been constructed: 
26 ft (7.9 m) MLW in 1901, 28 ft (8.5 m) 
MLW in 1911, 30 ft (9.1 m) MLW in 1917, 
and the present 35 ft (10.7 m) MLW in 1941. 
Maintenance dredging associated with the 
30 ft (9.1 m) MLW project between 1917 - 
1940 removed an average of 326,000 
yd 3 /yr (249,260 m 3 /yr). Between 1941 - 
1977, an average of 3,800,000 yd 3 /yr 
(2,905,480 m3/yr) has been removed in 
order to maintain the 35 ft (10.7 m) MLW 
project depth. This represents a 12-fold 
increase in maintenance dredging require- 
ments between the two project depths. 
Historical dredging data for Charleston 
Harbor are presented in Appendix Table 
C-2. A summary of these data, by project 
depth, is presented in Table 6-1. 

Sand is swept into Charleston Harbor 
by currents operating over the submerged 
portions of both the north and south 
jetties (Fig. 6-3). These flooding 
currents, along with wave action, have 
pushed shoreward the original ebb-tidal 
delta off Morris Island (Fig. 6-4). The 
resulting deposition occurring at Morris 
and Sullivans islands has been measured 
to be at least 95,000 m 3 /yr (124,251 
yd3/yr) and 30,000 m 3 /yr (39,237 yd 3 /yr), 
respectively, by Stapor (1977). The fate 
of sand swept beyond these two islands 
and their adjacent shallow bottoms into 
the 35 ft (10.7 m) MLW Charleston Harbor 
Entrance channel is at present unclear. 
Nieuwenhuise et al . (1978) have suggested, 
based on shape analyses of sand grains, 
that sand is introduced by flood tidal 
currents into Charleston Harbor proper. 
Detailed bottom current measurements 
necessary to test this hypothesis are 
few (Neiheisel and Weaver 1967) but in- 
dicate that this deep channel is dominated 
by ebb-directed tidal currents. 

During maintenance of the 30 ft 
(9.1 m) MLW as well as during the early 
periods of the 35 ft (10.7 m) MLW project 



108 



Erosion Deposition 



(Al I volumes x 10 m«t«rt 3 ) 



1876-1925 




South Jetty 



Figure 6-1. Volumes of sediment deposited and eroded at Winyah Bay Entrance 
between 1876 and 1925 (Stapor 1980a). 



109 




South Jetty 



Erosion Deposition 



9ft «+ 105 ft , + 19 

285 _ 84 63 _ |59 

(All volumes x I0 4 meters 3 ) 



*»+" 



1925-1964 



2 km 



Figure 6-2. Volumes of sediment deposited and eroded at Winyah Bay Entrance between 1925 and 
and 1964 (Stapor 1980a). 



depths, spoil was placed in adjacent 
marshlands and in various open water 
areas (see Fig. 6-5 for location of these 
open water sites). However, with the 
12-fold increase in maintenance dredging 
since 1941, disposal sites in marshlands 
have had to be diked and open-water 
disposal terminated. This latter practice 
in the vicinity of Ft. Sumter (spoil area 
11 of Fig. 6-5) had resulted in the 
construction of considerable acreage above 
MLW which is, in part, supporting a marsh. 
Table 6-3 lists the diked sites used for 
disposal in and about Charleston Harbor, 
giving their current status and acreages. 
(See also Atlas plates 35 and 43.) 

As this dramatic increase in main- 
tenance dredging was not expected when 
the 35 ft (10.7 m) MLW project was under- 
taken, the Charleston District, U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers, has conducted studies 
to identify, evaluate, and correct the 
shoaling problem in Charleston Harbor 



(U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 1957, 1966c). 
Model studies conducted at the U.S. Array 
Corps of Engineers' Waterways Experiment 
Station between 1947 and 1964 indicate 
that deepening the channels from 30 - 35 
ft (9.1 - 10.7 m) MLW would increase 
annual maintenance by approximately 10%, 
all other factors being equal. Prior to 
the 1942 diversion of Santee River water, 
Charleston Harbor received approximately 
11 m^/s (14.4 ydVs) or freshwater dis- 
charge from its watershed; after diversion, 
freshwater discharge increased to 451 
m 3 /s (590 yd 3 /s) (U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers 1966a). The U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers (1966a) identified sediments 
carried by Santee River water discharging 
through the Pinopolis Dam, as well as 
sediments scoured by these waters from the 
course of the Cooper River immediately 
below this dam, as the primary (40%) and 
secondary (33%) sources, respectively, 
of shoaling material in Charleston Harbor. 
The remaining 27% came from sources 



110 



FT SUMTER 



CUMMINGS 
POINT 




1934-1963 



EROSION DEPOSITION 



■ 



ALL VOLUMES x I0 4 METERS 3 



I Km 



Figure 6-3. Volumes of sediment eroded and deposited on Morris and Sullivans islands and 
their adjacent shallow bottoms between 1934 and 1963 (adapted from Stapor 
1977). Flooding tidal currents sweeping into the harbor over the submerged 
portions of the jetties are primarily responsible for the deposition at 
Cummings Point and the southern tip of Sullivans Island. 



contributing material to the harbor prior 
to the 1942 diversion of Santee River 
water. However, shoaling from this back- 
ground source has increased by 45% from 
what it was prior to 1942. Thus, the 
diversion of Santee River water into 
Charleston Harbor has not only provided 
additional sediment for shoaling, but has 
also made the harbor a more efficient 
sediment trap. The additional freshwater 
discharge converted the pre-1942 well- 
mixed estuary with minimal density 
stratification into a partially mixed 
estuary with a definite density 
stratification or salt wedge. The salt 
wedge results in flood-dominant bottom 
currents, which tend to keep sediment with- 
in the harbor (Fig. 6-6). 

The downstream and upstream flow 
characteristics of Charleston Harbor after 
diversion are presented in Figure 6-6. 
Major shoals, located where net flow is 
balanced or nearly so, occur at the mouths 
of the Ashley and Wando ri' ers (shoals #7, 
#6, #6A, and #6B of Figs. 6-5 and 6-6). 
Model studies indicated that a realignment 
of the navigation channel so as to avoid 
the mouth of the Ashley River could reduce 
maintenance dredging in the lower harbor 
by 85% (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 1957). 
This realignment was finished in 1956 and 



has required no subsequent maintenance 
dredging (Simmons 1966). 

A rediversion project is presently 
under construction to return 357 m3/s 
(467 yd3/s) discharge back to the Santee 
River. A canal connecting Lake Moultrie 
with the Santee is presently under 
construction to accomplish this task, 
with the intended result of 1) con- 
tinuing hydroelectric power generation, 
2) significantly reducing the shoaling in 
Charleston Harbor, and 3) maintaining 
freshwater discharge sufficient for the 
industrial concerns located along the 
Cooper River. (See also Santee-Cooper 
Diversion and Rediversion section, this 
chapter. ) 

d. Port Royal Harbor . In 1954, 
a navigation project was authorized to 
provide a 27 ft (8.2 m) MLW channel across 
the shoals at the mouth of Port Royal 
Sound and a 24 ft (7.3 m) MLW channel in 
the Beaufort River and Battery Creek. 
(See Atlas plate 41C.) Construction 
began in 1957 and was completed in 1959. 
Very little dredging had to be done in 
Port Royal Sound, Beaufort River, and 
Battery Creek to obtain the necessary 
project dimensions. However, 3,715,877 
yd^ (2,841,160 m^) had to be removed to 



111 



Table 6-3. Spoil disposal sites in Charleston Harbor (U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers 1966d). Numbers designating spoil sites correspond 
with those in Figure 6-5. 



Name 



Acreage 



Status 



Designat ion 
Number 



Yellow House Creek 608 

Clouter Creek 1,534 

Daniel Island 696 

Drum Island 151 

Morris Island 557 

Patriot's Point 278 

Coal Tipple 177 

Naval Ammunition Depot B 281 

Area D 

(Shipyard River) 136 

Area A 

(Daniel Island) 515 

Harbor Spoil Disposal Site 175 

Crab Bank 150 



diked, active 1 



diked, active 2 



diked, active 3 



diked, active 4 



diked, active 5 

diked, inactive 6 

diked, inactive 7 

diked, inactive 8 

diked, inactive 9 

diked, inactive 10 

unconfined, inactive 11 

unconfined, inactive 12 



as of fiscal 1979 



obtain project dimensions across the 
shoals at the mouth of Port Royal Sound. 

Maintenance dredging of the entrance 
channel across these shoals annually 
removes an average of 286,197 yd 3 
(218,826 m 3 ) , which is deposited in the 
open ocean. Maintenance by hopper dredge 
of the Beaufort River-Battery Creek inner 
harbor necessitates the annual removal of 
15,634 yd 3 /yr (11,954 m 3 /yr) of clay and 
silt which is also dumped in the open 
ocean. Annual dredging data for the Port 
Royal Harbor Project are presented in 
Appendix Table C-3. A summary of these 
data, by project depth, is presented in 
Table 6-1. 

e. Savannah Harbor . Savannah 
Harbor stretches for 10 mi (16 km) along 
the Savannah River, starting approximately 
10 mi (16 km) upriver from the mouth. 
Prior to any improvement work, controlling 
depths on the entrance bar offshore of 
Tybee Island were 18 - 20 ft (5.5 - 
6.1 m) MLW (U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey 
1851). Along the river proper, controlling 
depths were 9 - 10 ft (2.7 - 3.0 m) MLW. 
The harbor portion of the Savannah River 



is actually an estuary occupying a drowned 
river valley and having a partially mixed, 
two layer circulation pattern. 

Shoaling has historically been a 
problem throughout the entire project, 
from the entrance bar off Tybee Island 
to the head of the maintained channel 
at Port Wentworth. The present day 
shoaling patterns are shown in 
Figure 6-7, along with the location and 
size of the diked disposal sites. (See 
Atlas plate 42.) Presently there are 
9,052 acres (3,663 ha) of diked and 
partially diked disposal sites available 
for use. 

Maintenance dredging of the 
Savannah Harbor Project has removed an 
annual average of 7,150,000 yd 3 
(5,460,000 m 3 ) since 1965. Annual 
dredging data for the Savannah Harbor 
Project are presented in Appendix Table 
C-4. A summary of these data, by project 
depth, is presented in Table 6-1. The 
harbor's variable shoaling rates, 
reflecting not only the position of the 
salt wedge, but also the hydrodynamic 
properties of a curving channel, are 



112 




Figure 6-4. Volumes of sediment eroded and deposited on and about Morris Island, Charleston 
County, South Carolina, between 1851 and 1964 (adapted from Stapor 1977). All 
volumes are in 10^ m-. 



presented in Table 6-4. Sands comprise 
the bulk of the shoaling material north 
of Kings Island beyond the normal limit 
of saltwater penetration. Some commercial 
mining of this material has been done by 
hydraulic dredge. Mud and sand mixtures 
comprise the shoaling materials between 
Kings Island and the river's mouth. 

Historically, the locus of maximum 
shoaling has migrated upriver with 
successive deepenings of the natural 
channel (Granger 1968). In the early 
twentieth century, the stretch between 
Elba and Long islands was the site of 
heaviest shoaling, while today it is 
along Savannah's waterfront. This shift 
in shoaling with successive channel 
deepenings is illustrated in Figure 6-8, 
in which shoaling rates for an upstream 
and downstream reach are compared for 
various channel depths. 

Model studies conducted for the 
Savannah District, Corps of Engineers, by 
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg 
Waterways Experiment Station in the 1950' s 
tested the concept of a settling basin to 
be located in the Back River as a means 
of alleviating waterfrot shoaling (Harris 
1965). The model predicted that a 
decrease in shoaling rates would be ob- 
tained with such a basin. This basin was 
put into full operation in May 1977 and 
has significantly reduced clay and silt 
shoaling along the waterfront. However, 
the increased ebb currents have caused the 
formation of 5 - 7 m (16 - 23 ft) high sand 



waves which locally shoal the navigation 
channel to 34 ft (10.4 m) MLW 
(W. Clarkson, 1978, Savannah District, 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah, 
Georgia, pers. comm) . 

Tidal currents sweeping into the 
Savannah River (Oertel 1972) may be 
largely responsible for shoaling between 
the river's mouth and Tybee Roads. Wave- 
induced currents are probably the cause 
of shoaling in that portion of the channel 
crossing the ocean bar. Stapor (1980b) 
presents measurements of long-term, net 
erosion and deposition volumes for this 
region. 

f. Brunswick Harbor . Brunswick 
Harbor is located on the East River, 
with maintained channels extending up 
the Turtle River, through St. Simons 
Sound, and across St. Simons Bar to the 
open Atlantic Ocean (Atlas plate 41B) . 
original depths of the East River were 13 - 
17 ft (4 - 5.2 m) MLW (U.S. Coast and Geo- 
detic Survey 1856a). Controlling depths 
across St. Simons Bar were originally 14 - 
16 ft (4.3 - 5.2 m) MLW and through the 
Sound were 20 - 24 ft (6.1 - 7.3 m) MLW 
(U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey 1856b, c, 
respectively. 

The first navigation project 
constructed in Brunswick Harbor was to 
secure a 15 ft (4.6 m) MLW channel 
across the East River entrance bar. Jetty 
construction and dredging began in FY 
1880 and the project was completed in 



113 




fe%%%d DIKED DISPOSAL AREA 

OPEN WATER DISPOSAL AREA 
SMOALIN* REACHES 5. ..7 



ATLANTIC 

OCEAN 



. i ,'■■ i 



Figure 6-5. The disposal areas and shoaling reaches of the Charleston Harbor navigation 
project (adapted from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 1966d). The numbers 
designating each disposal area correspond with those in Table 6-3. Shoaling 
reach designations correspond with those in Figure 6-7. 



114 



100 



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UPSTREAM END OF 
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16 



14 12 10 8 6 

DISTANCE IN MILES ABOVE HARBOR ENTRANCE 



Figure 6-6. Flow characteristics of Charleston Harbor after the 1942 diversion of 

the Santee River discharge into the Cooper River (adapted from Simmons 1966). 
Shoaling reaches or shoals commonly occur where upstream and downstream 
flow is balanced and/or where net flow is upstream. 



FY 1884 (Granger 1968). The existing 
32 ft (9.8 m) MLW project was begun in 
1960 and was completed the following year. 

Annual dredging data from 1880 - 
1977 are presented in Appendix Table C-5. 
Analysis of these data reveals that approx- 
imately 320,000 yd 3 /yr (245,000 m 3 /yr) 
of maintenance dredging were required to 
maintain a 30 ft (9.1 m) MLW project 
depth. Maintenance dredging requirements 
Increased four-fold to over 1,350,000 
yd^/yr (1,032,000 m /yr) when the project 
depth was increased to 32 ft (9.8 m) 
MLW. Summaries of the historical dredging 
data, by project depth, are presented in 
Table 6-1. 

After deepening the East River to 
30 ft (9.1 m) MLW, rapid shoaling began 
in the channel. Dredging data for the 
period covering the 24 ft MLW and 27 ft 
(7.3 m and 8.2 m) MLW channels are not 
adequate to determine an individual 
maintenance rate for the East River. 
However, doubling the depth from 15 ft 
to 30 ft (4.6 m to 9.1 m) MLW has 
resulted in a 30-fold inc ease in main- 
tenance dredging. The East River has 
progressively become a more and more 
efficient sediment trap. Neiheisel and 
Weaver (1967), from an analysis of the clay 
minerals comprising this shoaling sediment, 
conclude that the Altamaha River is the 



major sediment source. This river is 
connected to the St. Simons Sound region 
by the Mackay River, a tidal stream 
traversing a salt marsh. Harris (1963) 
demonstrated a direct correlation between 
East River shoaling rates and Altamaha 
River discharge. 

g. Kings Bay-St. Marys Entrance . 
A navigation project at St. Marys Entrance 
was proposed in the 1870 's to provide a 
safe and economic route for waterborne 
commerce using the Port of Fernandina, 
Florida. The original main channel 
across the St. Marys Entrance ebb-tidal 
delta had controlling depths of approxi- 
mately 12 ft MLW (3.7 m) (Olsen 1977). 
In order to stabilize the location and 
depth of the the St. Marys Entrance 
channel, jetties were contructed from 
Cumberland and Amelia islands, respec- 
tively, in the early 1880's. Maintenance 
dredging requirements were minimal prior 
to 1955, when a 34 ft (10.4 m) MLW channel 
was dredged across the ebb tidal delta for 
the Department of Defense in order to 
serve the Kings Bay Ammunition Terminal, 
located on Cumberland Sound in southern 
Camden County, Georgia. Unlike previous 
ones, this channel has needed substantial 
amounts of maintenance dredging. Over its 
23 year history an average of 210,000 
yd /yr (160,000 m-Vyr) have been removed. 
The depth of this channel was increased 



115 



STA 112 




STA 80 

GEORGIA 
I SPOIL DISPOSAL EASEMENT 
SEDIMENT BASIN 



Figure 6-7. The location and size of diked disposal areas for the Savannah Harbor 
navigation project (adapted from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ly75a;. 
See Table 6-4 for the projected life span of these disposal areas. 



to 40 ft (12.2 m) MLW in FY 1979 to 
accommodate the East Coast Fleet Ballistic 
Missile Submarine Refit Site located at 
Kings Bay. (See Volume Two, Chapter 
Three, for a discussion of the economic 
impacts of this facility.) The main- 
tenance dredging volume required to secure 
the 40 ft (12.2 m) MLW channel across the 
St. Marys Entrance ebb-tidal delta should 
be significantly greater than that 
required for the previous 34 ft (10.4 m) 
MLW channel. 

Annual dredging data for the Kings 
Bay-St. Marys Entrance Project are 
presented in Appendix Table C-6. A 
summary of these data, by project depth, 
is presented in Table 6-1. 

5. Santee-Cooper Diversion and 
Rediversion 

The Santee-Cooper Diversion and 
Rediversion projects represent a physical 
alteration of the Sea Island Coastal 
Region second in magnitude only to 
the colonial and nineteenth century 
impoundment of marshes for rice culti- 
vation. The Santee-Cooper Diversion 



Project was first proposed in 1915 as a 
means of generating hydroelectric power 
(U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 1975b). 
Santee River discharge was to be diverted 
into the Cooper River so that the topo- 
graphic scarp at Pinopolis, Berkeley 
County, South Carolina, could be utilized 
to provide hydraulic head. Dams were to 
be constructed to impound each of these 
rivers, insuring a constant water flow. 
The South Carolina Public Service 
Authority began construction in 1938 and 
electricity generation began in February 
1942 (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 1966e). 

Wilson Dam, located 140 km (87 mi) 
upstream on the Santee River, forms Lake 
Marion, South Carolina's largest lake, 
with a 450 km (111,195 acres) area 
(Kjerfve 1976). Pinopolis Dam forms Lake 
Moultrie, which has a 245 km2 (60,540 
acres) area (Fig. 6-9). These two lakes 
are connected by a 12 km (7.5 mi) long 
diversion canal through which passes, on 
the average, 88% of the Santee River's 
annual discharge (Kjerfve 1976). The 
lower Santee annual mean discharge 
decreased from 525 to 62 m 3 /s (18,532 to 
2,189 ft 3 /s) and the Cooper River 



116 



A**r«9« mm* 



2 3 4 



SO 



2* -22 channel 

(l»23-l»23) 
Toi«i Sheaiinf 



-2* -22 channel 
(l»3l-l»J2) 
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T«t«l Shea I inn 
7.90«l<TH r 

J4-34' cktMtl 

(l*S3-i»34i 
TtMl SkoaiUflt 




Figure 6-8. Shifts in the location of maximum shoaling between 

the upstream reach (Hutchinson Island to the City of 
Savannah waterfront) and the downstream reach (Elba 
Island to the jetties) with successive channel 
deepenings (adapted from Simmons 1966). 



discharge increased from 2 to 442 m /s 
(71 to 15,602 ft 3 /s) (U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers 1966aJ U.S. Department of 
Interior, Geological Survey 1976). 

When the project was under con- 
sideration ". . . it was believed that there 
would be many incidental benefits, in- 
cluding reduction of shoaling of the 
navigation channels in the harbor 
(Charleston Harbor), improvement of water 
quality (Charleston Harbor) through 
flushing resulting from the greatly 
increased freshwater discharge, and of 
course desalinizat ion of the upper and 
middle reaches of the Cooper" (U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers 1966e). Of these 
three mentioned incidental benefits, the 
last two occurred as predicted. Increased 
discharge aids flushing of Charleston 
Harbor (Kjerfve 1976) and many large 
industrial firms have located along the 
upper and middle Cooper River, attracted 
by its quantities of fresh water. 

However, increased freshwater 
discharge exacerbated rather than reduced 
shoaling in Charleston Harbor. Maintenance 
dredging of navigation channels and 
auxiliary facilities increased 100-fold 
from a pre-diversion 110,000 yd 3 /yr 
(84,106 m-Vyr) to a post-diversion 
10,000,000 yd 3 /yr (7,646,000 - 3 /yr) (U.S. 
Army Corps of Engineers 1966e). (See 
previous discussion of Charleston Harbor, 
this chapter.) The U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers, Charleston District began 
investigating this ". . . appalling in- 
crease in shoaling. . ." (U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers 1966e) in the early 
1950's. By the middle 1960's they were 
able to conclude ". . .beyond any rea- 



sonable doubt that the increased fresh- 
water flows into the harbor and the 
change in the regimen to the harbor from 
the characteristics of a well-mixed 
estuary to those of a partly mixed 
estuary as a result of the diversion 
of large freshwater flows from the Santee 
into the Cooper are the principal causes 
of the present heavy shoaling of the 
navigation channels" (U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers 1966e). Salinities measured 
at the Custom House Wharf in Charleston 
declined from an annual mean of 31 /oo 
prior to diversion to 16 /oo after 
(Zetler 1953). (See Chapter Five for 
water circulation patterns of Charleston 
Harbor. ) 

The lower Santee River and its delta 
experienced a significant increase in 
salinity from a pre-diversion level of 
1 /oo or less at the mouths of the North 
and South Santee rivers (Kjerfve 1976) 
to a post-diversion level of 20°/oo - 24°/oo 
at these mouths (Mathews et al. 1980). 
Commercial oyster and hard clam beds 
developed in the North and South Santee 
rivers as a result of this salinity 
change. Along with the pronounced overall 
increase, the salinity range remained 
high, from .02°/oo to 33°/oo, thereby limiting 
the action of oyster predators in this 
region (Calder et al. 1977). (See Volume 
II, Chapter Eight, and also Volume III for 
more detailed ecological impacts.) 

Sediment deposition and erosion also 
resulted from diversion. The mouth of 
the North Santee River became filled with 
marine sands moving into the estuary 
under the changed tidal circulation 
pattern (Mullin 1973). Stephens et al . 



117 



Table 6-4. Shoaling rates for Savannah Harbor (U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers 1975a). These disposal easements and channel 
lengths covered are located on Figure 6-7. 



Shoaling Rate per 
1000-feet of channel 



Channel Length Covered 



Disposal Area Utilized 



6,600 yd 



40,000 yd 



24,000 yd" 



35,000 yd" 



77,000 yd 



107,000 yd" 



82,000 yd' 



45,000 yd 



9,000 yd' 



Sta. 112-105 
(7,000 feet) 

Sta. 105-100 
(5,000 feet) 

Sta. 100-95 
(5,000 feet) 

Sta. 95-80 
(5,000 feet) 

Sta. 80-75 
(5,000 feet) 

Sta. 75-50 
(125,000 feet) 

Sta. 50-40 
(50,000 feet) 

Sta. 40-30 
(50,000 feet) 

Sta. 30-0 
(150,000 feet) 



1A (158 acres) 



IB (86 acres) 



ARGYLE (298 acres) 



2A (350 acres) 



12 (1,260 acres) 



13A (1,500 acres) 



13B (700 acres) 



14 (1,800 acres) 



Jones Island 
(2,900 acres) 



(1976) have suggested that coastal erosion 
of the Santee Delta (South, Cedar, and 
Murphy islands) likewise accelerated after 
diversion. 

In addition to the above-mentioned 
changes, Czyscinski (1975) proposes that 
the post-diversion intrusion of marine 
waters is responsible for sulfide mineral 
formation in the marsh sediments of the 
Santee Delta. These sulfide minerals, 
upon oxidation, cause low soil pH and 
high acidity which results in cat clay 
formation. (See Chapter Three for 
additional discussion of cat clay.) 
Oxidation is typically caused by drying, 
e.g., the draining of an impoundment. 
However, his experiments indicate that 
oxidation ". . . may be possible from an 
influx of oxygenated fresh water through 
the sediment, raising the possibility of 
wide-spread cat clay development upon 
redivergence of the Santee River" 
(Czyscinski 1975). 

In order to alleviate the Charleston 
Harbor shoaling problem, the U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers (1966f) considered 
10 plans of improvement. These plans 
Cook two basic approaches toward solving 
the shoaling problem: 1) eliminate or 
greatly restrict the release of water at 



the Pinopolis Dam or 2) allow the 
unrestricted release of water at this dam 
and divert it before reaching the upper 
Cooper River. Model studies conducted 
by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' 
Waterways Experiment Station at Vicksburg, 
Mississippi, indicate that a flow of 
85 mVs (3,000 ft3/s) is needed to keep 
salt water out of the Bushy Park Reservoir 
(Fig. 6-9), the site of fresh water used 
by industries located along the upper 
Cooper River (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
1966f). This flow rate is high enough to 
provide cooling for the steam electricity 
generating plant at Pinopolis without the 
temperature of its discharge waters 
exceeding South Carolina legal limits 
(Kjerfve 1976). The plan ultimately 
selected was to divert water from Lake 
Moultrie through a 18.5 km (11.5 mi) long 
canal to the Santee River (Fig. 6-8). A 
hydroelectric generating plant will be 
constructed near St. Stephen, Berkeley 
County, South Carolina, on this canal, 
taking advantage of the 15 m (49 ft) 
hydraulic head. 

The Santee Cooper Rediversion Project 
was authorized by the River and Harbor Act 
of 1968 (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
1975b) and construction began in 1977. 
This project is expected to be completed 



118 




0*8 

SLA»® 



REDIVERSION PROJECT 

B" ALTERNATE REDIVERSION 
ROUTE 



Figure 6-9. Location map of the Santee-Cooper Diversion and Rediversion projects area. 
Rediversion Project A is the one to be built. 



in 1984 at a cost of $139 million 
(J. L. Coates, 1978, U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers, Charleston District, 
Charleston, South Carolina, pers. comm.). 

Shoaling is expected to significantly 
decrease in Charleston Harbor, thus 
reducing the cost of annual maintenance 
and the need to find more and more dredged 
material disposal sites. Water quality 
in the harbor may suffer if industrial 
waste and sewage treatment facilities are 
not adequate (Kjerfve 1976). Saltwater 
contamination of the Bushy Park Reservoir 
is a very real possibility. A study of 
the Cooper River made during low flow 
conditions [less than or equ< 1 to 
85 m/ 3 s (3,000 ft 3 /s)] in 197o indicates 
that waters with a significantly higher 
salinity than that predicted by the 
Corps of Engineers' model study, or 
deemed permissible by the industrial 
water users, penetrated very close to, 
if not into, the Bushy Park Reservoir 
(South Carolina Water Resources Commis- 
sion 1979). 



The increased freshwater discharge 
should cause a return to pre-diversion 
salinity conditions in the Santee River 
delta. This has the potential of 
destroying the commercial oyster and hard 
clam beds and, perhaps, inducing wide- 
spread cat clay formation (Czyscinski 
1975) throughout the marshes and impound- 
ments. Silt and clay shoaling, especially 
in North Santee Bay, should be expected. 
It is possible that given 1) the steeper 
gradient of the South Santee and 2) mea- 
surements indicating that 27% of the total 
flood flow goes through it, the South 
Santee River may become the more important 
distributary (Kjerfve 1976). 



B. 



EFFECTS 



1. Air Quality 

Until World War II, our atmosphere 
had been able to tolerate certain quanti- 
ties of air contaminants without exhib- 
iting detrimental effects. However, 
as industrialization developed, large 



119 



quantities of air contaminants were dis- 
charged into the atmosphere, the normal and 
natural cleaning mechanisms were no longer 
sufficient and levels of air contaminants 
built up. As a result, occurrences of 
air pollution episodes were reported. The 
static atmospheric conditions during these 
episodes caused significant increases in 
human mortality (U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency 1976a). 

Air pollution is generally thought of 
as man-induced changes (not necessarily 
increases) in the atmospheric gas or 
particle content (Mohnen 1977). These 
anthropogenic additions to the natural 
contaminants (e.g., pollen, smoke, dust) 
alter or overload the natural methods of 
cleansing the air (e.g., rain, sedimen- 
tation, and oxidation) and result in 
contaminant build-up. 

Pollutants exist in a gaseous or 
particulate state. The five major 
pollutants are listed in Table 6-5 along 
with common sources of contamination. 
Table 6-6 summarizes effects of air 
pollutants on living and non-living forms. 

In 1971, pursuant to the Clean Air 
Act (Federal Register 1971), the 
Environmental Protection Agency promul- 
gated national ambient air quality standards 
for the five pollutants listed in Table 
6-5. After promulgation of these stand- 
ards, each State was required to adopt 
a plan which provided for the implemen- 
tation, maintenance, and enforcement of the 
national air quality standards. Table 
6-7 lists the Federal Ambient Air Standards 
as compared to Georgia and South Carolina 
air quality standards. 

Determination of air quality for 
this coastal region is similar to that 
identified by Mohnen (1977) for the New 
York Bight. His tenets for air quality 
determination should be applicable for 
most coastal areas. The three sources 
that determine air quality are 
1) emission of particulate matter and 
gases from the ocean surface (natural 
process); 2) emissions of particulate 
matter and gases from land surfaces, 
stationary and mobile anthropogenic 
sources; and 3) particulate and gaseous 
products resulting from chemical 
transformation in the atmosphere. 

The Sea Island Coastal Region is 
relatively sensitive to pollution. 
Recently, there has been increasing 
evidence that terrestrial systems of 
the lower coastal plain may be 
unusually susceptible to air pollution. 
Jenkins and Fendley (1968) detected 
disturbingly high concentrations 
of radioisotopes (Cesium-137) from 
fa] lout in game animals and other 
organisms on the Georgia coast. The 
causes of such high uptake of radio- 



nuclides in this area are not known 
but may be related to dietary 
mineral deficiencies associated with 
some infertile soils in the region 
(Jenkins and Fendley 1968). 

The general air quality for 
South Carolina and Georgia is good. 
However, as expected, those regions 
with major urban and industrial areas 
have highest concentrations of air 
pollutants. Table 6-8 presents annual 
air quality data for all sampling sites 
in coastal South Carolina. Georgetown 
has the highest particulate concentrations 
while North Charleston has the highest 
sulfur dioxide concentrations and 
nitrogen dioxide is highest on James 
Island. These high concentrations 
correspond to industrial areas in 
Georgetown and North Charleston, while 
James Island is indicative of a suburban 
area with heavy traffic concentrations. 
Air quality for all sampling sites in 
coastal Georgia during 1977 were unavailable. 

Table 6-9 presents 8-year summaries 
for particulates, sulfur dioxide, and 
nitrogen dioxide for coastal Georgia and 
South Carolina. These data are difficult 
to analyze since development and con- 
struction activities created much varia- 
bility at each sampling locality. Thus, 
a knowledge of each sampling area is 
essential for proper analysis. However, 
it is obvious for both South Carolina and 
Georgia that particulate values dropped 
significantly after 1973. This would 
correspond to implementation of tech- 
nologies necessary to meet air quality 
standards set by each State. It is also 
obvious that high pollution concentrations 
are directly related to high population 
areas (Table 6-9). 

2. Water Quality 

As might be expected, water pollution 
in the Sea Island Coastal Region is 
concentrated in the areas of greatest 
industrial and urban development. Of the 
five major river systems in each State, 
point source pollution is highest in the 
lower Waccamaw River basin and Winyah Bay 
near Georgetown and in the lower Ashley 
and Cooper rivers, including Charleston 
Harbor, in South Carolina. In Georgia, 
the majority of point source discharge 
problems associated with industry are 
concentrated along the lower Savannah 
and St. Marys river systems. The two most 
heavily polluted river systems in the 
study area are the Savannah River and 
Cooper River (Georgia Department of 
Natural Resources 1974, South Carolina 
Department of Health and Environmental 
Control 1975b). 

Water utilization and discharge 
practices result in heterogeneous patches 
of chemicals, eutrophication, oxygen 



120 





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depletion, turbidity, and other conditions 
pernicious to life in marine ecosystems. 
Environmental impacts from pollutants 
vary with the type of pollutant and biota. 
The unique characteristics of estuaries, 
however, may increase the potential for 
certain types of impacts. Some toxic 
metals are greatly reduced during or 
subsequent to the flocculation of 
dissolved organic or inorganic matter 
when fresh water mixes with salt water. 
Often a single type of chemical or 
pollutant may come from several sources, 
and consequently its origin is difficult 
to detect. The most prevalent sources 
of pollution from water discharge in 
coastal areas are domestic sewage, pulp 
mill waste, urban runoff, industrial 
effluent, and thermal effluent. 

In general, discharge of domestic 
sewage enriches the water's nutrient load 
not unlike fertilization from agricultural 
runoff. Domestic sewage consists of 
dissolved and suspended materials, and 
because these materials were originally 
plant and animal material, they contain 
high levels of nitrogen, potassium, and 
phosphorus (the three most important 
ingredients of commercial fertilizers). 
Whereas agricultural runoff is predominant 
only during rainy periods, domestic sewage 
discharge is relatively constant (or 
increasing) regardless of water con- 
ditions. Urbanization of coastal areas 
results in greater discharge rates, and 
the estuary and nearshore waters may 
continue to be the ultimate sump of 
sewage and sludge discharges in the 
foreseeable future. These discharges 
contain not only nutrients which encourage 
eutrophication, but also coliform bacteria 
and pathogenic viruses. Pathogenic 
organisms disperse outward from the point 
of waste discharge and either die or are 
consumed by filter feeding animals such 
as oysters and clams. Many productive 
oyster and clam beds are closed to 
harvesting because of domestic pollution. 
Extensive areas closed to shellfish 
harvesting exist around Murrells Inlet, 
Charleston, Beaufort, Savannah, and 
Brunswick. (See Atlas plates 31,41,42,43.) 

Urban runoff is also a source of 
water pollution. Dtainage from streets, 
service stations, and residential areas 
contains many organic and inorganic 
compounds toxic to marine life. Fallout 
from industrial airborne emissions, 
automobile exhaust, tire particles on 
highways, and leached materials from 
solid waste disposal sites are a few of 
the sources of water pollution from urban 
runoff. 

Effluents from heavy industry result 
in acute as well as chronic sources of 
pollution. Such effluents often contain 
complex metallic and organic compounds 
which resist biodegradat ion and are toxic 



to marine life. These compounds may be 
discharged in dilute concentrations but, 
because of their nature, they may be 
assimilated into the food chain and under- 
go biological amplification as they pass 
through increasingly higher consumer 
levels (see Volume III). 

Among the more dangerous industrial 
pollutants discharged into the estuaries 
are the heavy metals (mercury, cadmium, 
zinc, lead, etc.). In the summer of 1970, 
the Savannah River below Augusta was 
closed to fishing due to methyl mercury 
pollution from the Olin Mathieson Company 
at Augusta, Georgia. Fish and seafood 
approximately 180 mi (288 km) downstream 
from the pollution source were declared 
unsafe for human consumption. A similar 
case involving mercury pollution from 
Allied Chemical Company also occurred in 
Brunswick Harbor during the early 1970 's 
(Johnson et al . 1974). 

Paper mills have been a primary 
source of industrial pollution in coastal 
areas, primarily in Georgetown, Charles- 
ton, Chatham, Liberty, Glynn, and Cam- 
den counties (see Volume II, Chapter 
Six). Effluents from pulp mills can 
drastically alter the pH, dissolved 
oxygen, and turbidity of receiving waters, 
and thus affect aquatic life directly and 
indirectly. Characteristically, pulp 
mill effluent exerts high chemical 
(oxidation of S0„) and biological (oxi- 
dation of sugars; demands on dissolved 
oxygen, and suspended materials reduce 
light, which inhibits photosynthetic pro- 
cesses. Suspended materials may also 
settle out, forming sludge banks and thus 
rendering the bottom substrate unsuitable 
for benthic organisms. Also, pulp-mill 
wastes have direct toxic effects upon 
the biota, especially the alkaline 
effluent which contains hydrogen sulfide, 
mercaptans, resin acids, and soaps. These 
effluents may reduce surface tension of 
receiving waters and cause increased 
foaming, which makes waters aesthetically 
unattractive. Many of these adverse 
effects have been alleviated by settling 
ponds and aeration prior to discharge. 

The use of coastal waters for cooling 
by industry and power-generating plants 
results in thermal pollution (see Volume 
II, Chapter Four). Fossil and nuclear- 
fueled steam generating electrical plants 
are capable of elevating estuary 
temperatures via the discharge of cooling 
waters. Temperature increases can result 
in substantial alterations in the biology 
of affected biota because water tempera- 
ture may be a cue to migrate or reproduce. 
Elevated water temperatures are known to 
cause developmental abnormalities in 
larval fish and to stress adult 
populations (Krenkel and Parker 1969). 
Also, oxygen solubility decreases with 
increasing water temperature. In addition 



128 



to physiological stresses, fish may be 
killed directly by impingement on intake 
screens or suffer mortality through 
drastic pressure changes subsequent to 
entrainment into the power plant's cooling 
system (Krenkel and Parker 1969). 

Thermal pollution is not now a 
serious threat to estuaries in the Sea 
Island Coastal Region. However, with 
development of nuclear-powered electric- 
generating plants, the situation could 
change. According to Johnson et al. 
(1974), Georgia Power Company is 
developing such a plant about 70 mi 
112 km) above Altamaha Sound on the 
Altamaha River. Water demands upon the 
river will be approximately 25,000 gallons 
per minute, of which 12,000 will be 
returned to the river as cooling tower 
effluent. The temperature of the effluent 
will vary from 78° to 90°F (24.5°C to 
32.2°C). 

Classifications for major coastal 
river systems and locations of point- 
source discharges are available through 
the Georgia Department of Natural 
Resources and South Carolina Department 
of Health and Environmental Control. 
(See Directory of Information Sources for 
addresses and types of data.) 

a. South Carolina River Basins . 
The following section identifies major 
coastal problem areas and describes the 
general water quality problems for the 
South Carolina portion of the study 
area (see Atlas plates 31 - 40). 

The Georgetown and Charleston areas in 
South Carolina and the Savannah and 
Brunswick areas in Georgia are the most 
extensively developed areas of the Sea 
Island Coastal Region. These areas grew 
with little overall planning and contain 
many inadequate sewer systems and septic 
tanks. The small, isolated estuaries near 
these metropolitan centers are subject to 
both point source and non-point source 
pollution. Many of the shellfish grounds 
are opened and closed frequently during 
the year on the basis of water quality. 

Winyah Bay has been closed to shell- 
fishing since 1964 (Atlas plate 31). 
The bay receives pollution from runoff 
of the Pee Dee, Waccamaw, Black, and Sampit 
rivers. The Sampit is heavily polluted, 
receiving discharges from both domestic 
and industrial sources. The Pee Dee, 
Waccamaw, and Black are dominated by 
agricultural runoff from upstate and 
combine to concentrate pollution levels 
in Winyah Bay. Improving water qualit. 
in the bay will be a difficult task. 
The more stringent 1980 EPA regulations 
will help, but a full scale effort must 
be made to improve all industrial 
treatment facilities and sewage systems. 



The North and South Santee rivers 
receive most of their toxic materials 
from agricultural runoff. This condition 
could worsen after completion of the 
Santee-Cooper Rediversion Project, which 
is discussed earlier in this chapter. The 
area seaward from the Atlantic Intra- 
coastal Waterway is now open for shell- 
fishing but could be shifted further 
toward the ocean after rediversion. Both 
rivers have rich hard clam beds and are 
an important part of South Carolina's clam 
fishery (see Volume II, Chapter Seven). 

Water quality from Cape Romain to 
the Isle of Palms is generally excellent, 
with one exception. Jeremy Creek near 
McClellanville receives the domestic 
effluent from McClellanville and is 
closed to shell fishing. The other small 
creeks of this area are located in largely 
undeveloped areas, and contain large areas 
of prime shellfish grounds. Development 
of Dewees Island and the Isle of Palms may 
threaten this classification in the 
future. 

The tidal creeks and inlets of this 
area have been recently reopened to shell- 
fishing. Much of this area was closed 
due to the influence of Charleston Harbor. 
Improved water quality in Charleston 
Harbor and improved domestic sewage treat- 
ment is responsible for the re-opening of 
the area. 

Charleston Harbor receives water from 
the Ashley, Cooper, and Wando rivers. The 
Ashley and Cooper rivers have heavy 
industry located along the river banks. 
The Wando River is less developed and 
contains valuable subtidal "seed" oyster 
beds. Although these areas are closed to 
commercial harvesting due to nearby point 
source discharges, oysters from those beds 
are dredged and moved to non-polluted 
areas for later harvesting (Volume II, 
Chapter Seven). A proposed port facility 
and future industrial development could 
add to harbor water quality problems. 
The addition of sewage treatment 
facilities and improved industrial waste 
treatment have improved the water quality 
of Charleston Harbor. Clarke Sound, which 
is adjacent to Charleston Harbor, may be 
opened to shell fishing in the near future 
if sewage treatment facilities in the 
surrounding residential areas are im- 
proveJ. 

The Stono River receives some 
exchange of water from Charleston Harbor 
through Elliots Cut (AIWW) . Portions of 
the river under influence of this ex- 
change are closed to shellfish harvesting. 
The lower reaches of the river are open 
to shellfishing because of the tidal 
influence of Stono Inlet. Water quality 
of much of the river is dependent on the 
water quality of Charleston Harbor. 
Abbapoola Creek, a small creek that 



129 



empties into the Stono, is polluted by 
agricultural runoff and livestock opera- 
tions which drain into the creek. 

The area between the Edisto River 
and Brickyard Creek (Coosaw River) has 
high water quality due to lack of develop- 
ment. Recent residential development of 
adjacent barrier islands may change water 
quality of this area in the near future* 
Church Creek on Wadmalaw Island and 
Fishing Creek on Edisto Island are the 
only small creeks in the area closed to 
shellf ishing. Both are closed because of 
domestic pollution. 

The Beaufort River-Port Royal Sound- 
Savannah River shellfish area is under 
heavy pressure from development in the 
area. A majority of the closed areas are 
due to domestic sewage treatment facili- 
ties. The Beaufort area is one of the 
fastest growing areas in South Carolina 
because of military installations, port 
facilities, and recreational areas. 
Proper management of this area is 
necessary since many of the shellfish 
grounds are near impacted areas. The area 
from the Cooper River south is closed 
due to the influence of the Savannah 
River. 

b. Georgia River Basins . Although a 
comprehensive monitoring program for 
Georgia coastal waters was established 
in 1973-74, there have not been enough 
samples to provide detailed water quality 
information. The large areas of water 
that have been approved for oyster 
growing and harvesting, however, reflect 
the excellent overall quality of Georgia's 
coastal waters. Additional areas may be 
approved when additional sanitary surveys 
are completed. 

On Georgia's coast, six areas 
totalling an estimated 125,528 acres 
(50,211 ha) have been approved for 
shellfish harvesting. Approved oyster 
growing areas are located west of Wassaw 
Island, west of Little Tybee Island, 
west of Sapelo Island, south of Sapelo 
Island, west of Jekyll Island, and west 
of Cumberland Island. These areas are 
marshlands and tidal creeks, distant 
from the mainland shore and ship channel 
(Atlas plates 8,9, and 10). 

As mentioned previously, the 
Savannah River has been heavily polluted 
over the years. However, during the 
1970's, water quality in the lower reach 
of the Savannah - including the 
industrialized section of the river and 
harbor - has improved. This improvement 
has been largely due to steps taken by 
individual industries. Municipal waste 
discharge and discharge from several non- 
complying industries remain serious prob- 
lems . 



The Turtle River, the Brunswick 
River, and East River form the major areas 
of the Port of Brunswick. Industrial and 
municipal wastewater discharge is also the 
main source of pollution in these areas. 
Industrial pollution in Brunswick Harbor 
has been of special concern because of the 
persistent mercury contamination upstream 
from Brunswick. Although the polluting 
industries have substantially reduced 
discharges, some long-term effects are 
being experienced. 

Generally, good water quality is 
found in the Altamaha, Satilla, Ogeechee, 
and St. Marys rivers. In the Altamaha, 
the area downstream from pulp and paper 
mills near Jesup has caused problems in 
the past. However, the water quality in 
the lower reaches of the Altamaha is in 
good condition. The Ogeechee River is one 
of the most primitive and unspoiled 
streams in Georgia. The North Newport 
River in Liberty County has been found to 
have extremely high sulfate levels caused 
by papermill discharges. The Satilla 
River receives significant waste dis- 
charges from a textile mill and a meat- 
packing plant. The major sources of waste 
on the St. Marys River are a mining com- 
pany at Folkston and a paper company in 
St. Marys. The overall good water 
quality of the St. Marys reflects the 
natural influence of the Okefenokee 
Swamp. 

Due to stringent Federal and State 
standards, it is likely that water quality 
problems in Georgia's coastal counties in 
the next 10 years will be minimal, with 
the exception of those locations where 
industries and municipal waste treatment 
facilities have not met State and Federal 
standards. However, any material that is 
placed in the water will have some effect, 
even if water quality standards are met. 

It is virtually impossible to project 
the potential water quality problems that 
may arise from non-point sources. 
Although it is expected that the urban 
centers in the coastal counties 
(especially the Savannah and Brunswick 
areas) will increase in population, it is 
unknown whether coastal communities, in 
cooperation with State offices, will plan 
in advance for orderly growth to reduce 
problems of erosion and runoff, and 
utilize storm water systems. 



3. 



Solid Wastes 



The amounts of solid wastes generated 
in the Sea Island Coastal Region are 
rising each year. For the most part, they 
are disposed of on land. The rising 
volume of waste generation has a magni- 
fying influence on problems related to 
solid wastes, especially the costs of 
waste management, the shortage of disposal 
sites in urban areas, and the potential 



130 



environmental and health effects of dis- 
posal. 

Virtually all types of wastes have 
potential for causing environmental 
problems. Some of these, particularly 
certain types of industrial solid wastes, 
pose special hazards to public health and 
the environment unless they are properly 
handled, transported, treated, stored, and 
disposed of. Hazardous wastes may contain 
toxic chemicals; pesticides; acids; 
caustics; infectious, radioactive, or 
explosive substances; or other materials 
in sufficient amount to cause acute or 
chronic health effects or severe damage 
to the environment. Damage from land 
disposal of hazardous wastes can occur 
in several ways: groundwater contamina- 
tion through leaching; surface water 
contamination via runoff; air pollution 
by open burning, evaporation, sublimation, 
and wind erosion; poisoning through direct 
contact; poisoning via the food chain; 
and fire and explosion (Council on 
Environmental Quality 1979). 

Concurrent with population growth, 
solid waste generation and disposal 
problems are increasing in the Sea Island 
Coastal Region. However, specific data 
relating to solid waste management prob- 
lems in coastal South Carolina and Georgia 
are not readily available at this time. 



131 



APPENDIX A 
COUNTY DESCRIPTIONS 

I . INTRODUCTION 

Appendix A contains a brief descrip- 
tion of each county in the Sea Island 
Coastal Region from Georgetown County, 
South Carolina, to Camden County, Georgia 
(Preface Fig. 2). Each county description is 
limited to basic information on certain 
physiographic and cultural aspects of the 
county and generally includes data on its 
size, bounds, elevations, drainage, 
wetland areas, developed areas, economic 
base, and population. Tabular summaries 
of data for the counties can be found in 
Tables 5-2 and 5-3. 



A. 



II. SOUTH CAROLINA COUNTIES 



GEORGETOWN 



Georgetown County is located in the 
lower Atlantic Coastal Plain of South 
Carolina. Occupying 813 mi (2,106 kni ) 
(South Carolina State Soil and Water 
Conservation Needs Committee 1970), it is 
bounded on the east by approximately 37 mi 
(60 km) of irregular Atlantic Ocean shoreline 
(U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 1972a). A 
series of marsh and barrier islands forms 
the coast. These include Pawleys and North 
islands, which are barrier islands, and South 
and Cedar islands, which are marsh islands. 
All four islands are Holocene beach ridge 
plain islands, separated from one another 
and the mainland by tidal streams and inlets 
draining an extensive system of drowned 
river valleys and shallow, marsh-filled 
coastal lagoons. The profile of the main- 
land topography consists of subtle undula- 
tions in the landscape characteristic of the 
ridge and bay topography of beach ridge 
plains. Elevations in the county range 
from sea level to approximately 75 ft 
(23 m). 

The county is drained by five signifi- 
cant river systems: the Waccatnaw, Black, 
Sampit, Pee Dee, and Santee. Of these, 
the Sampit River is a coastal river 
(coastal plain stream), i.e., it originates 
in the coastal plain and its flow is 
dominated by tidal action. Salinities 
range from /oo to 20°/oo throughout 
the year. The other rivers have signif- 
icant freshwater discharge. The South 
Santee forms the southwestern boundary, 
the Black bisects the county, and the 
Pee Dee forms part of the northern 
boundary. The inland boundary of the 
county borders Horry, Marion, Williamsburg, 
Charleston, and Berkeley counties. 
Because of the low topography, many 
broad, low-gradient drains are present 
as either extensions of tidal streams 
and rivers or flooded bays and swales. 



The many diverse wetland communities 
occurring within the areas influenced by 
tidal inundation and river flow occupy 
approximately 11% of the county. Of this, 
20,540 acres (8,313 ha) consist of salt and 
brackish water marshes, 23,764 acres 
(9,617 ha) consist of freshwater marshes, 
and 11,940 acres (4,832 ha) consist of 
coastal impoundments (Tiner 1977). 

In 1967, the urbanized area of 
Georgetown County consisted of 21,800 acres 
(8,823 ha), while agricultural land and 
pasture occupied 34,953 acres (14,146 ha) 
(South Carolina State Soil and Water 
Conservation Needs Committee 1970). Welch 
(1968) reported that 391,300 acres 
(158,359 ha) were forested. Although 
agriculture and timber production constitute 
the bulk of rural land use, the main 
economic base of the county consists of 
an interrelationship of industrial and 
transportational components tied to the 
Port of Georgetown. As of 1970, Georgetown 
County had a total population of 33,500 
people (South Carolina Budget and Control 
Board 1977), the majority of whom were 
centered around the county seat of Georgetown. 



B. 



BERKELEY 



Berkeley County is located in the 
lower Atlantic Coastal Plain of South 



.2 



Carolina. The county occupies 1,100 mi 
(2,849 km ) (South Carolina State Soil 
and Water Conservation Needs Committee 1970) 
and is adjacent to the coastal counties 
of Georgetown, Charleston, and Colleton. 
Berkeley County has access to the Atlantic 
Ocean via the Wando and Cooper rivers, but 
has no beach front. The profile of the main- 
land topography consists of subtle undula- 
tions in the landscape characteristic of 
beach ridge plains. Elevations in the county 
range from sea level to approximately 105 ft 
(32 m). Berkeley County is drained by three 
significant river systems: the Santee, 
Wando, and Cooper rivers. The Santee has a 
large freshwater discharge and forms the 
northern boundary with neighboring Georgetown 
County. The remaining two rivers were 
originally coastal river systems, i.e., their 
flow was dominated by tidal action, but 
the Cooper was modified by a large volume 
of fresh water diverted from the Santee. 
Because of the low topography of the 
county, many broad, low-gradient interior 
drains are present as either extensions 
of tidal streams and rivers or flooded 
bays and swales. 

The many diverse emergent wetland 
communities occurring within the areas 
influenced by tidal inundation and river 
flow occupy approximately 4% of the county's 
total area. Of this, 7,252 acres (2,935 ha) 
are brackish and saltwater marshes, 17,511 
acres (7,087 ha) are freshwater marsh, and 
4,294 acres (1,738 ha) are impounded marshes 
(Tiner 1977). 



132 



In 1967, the developed area in Berkeley 
County consisted of 29,546 acres (11,957 ha) 
of urbanized land while agricultural and 
pasture land occupied 63,617 acres 
(25,746 ha) (South Carolina State Soil 
and Water Conservation Needs Committee 
1970). Welch (1968) reported that 583,300 
acres (236,062 ha) were forested. 

Although agriculture and timber 
production constitute the bulk of rural 
land use, the principal economic base of 
the county consists of an interrelation- 
ship of industrial and military components 
tied to the Port of Charleston in Charleston 
County. 

As of 1970, Berkeley County had a 
total population of 56,199 people (South 
Carolina Budget and Control Board 1977), 
the majority of whom were centered in 
Moncks Corner, the county seat. 

C. DORCHESTER 

Dorchester County occupies 569 
mi (1,474 km ) within the lower Atlantic 
Coastal Plain of South Carolina (South 
Carolina State Soil and Water Conservation 
Needs Committee 1970). The county has 
no ocean shoreline, but has water access 
to the Atlantic via the Ashley and 
Edisto rivers. The profile of the 
mainland topography consists of subtle 
undulations in the landscape charac- 
teristic of the ridge and bay topography 
of beach ridge plains. Elevations in 
the county range from sea level to 
approximately 130 ft (40 m). 

The county is drained by two signif- 
icant river systems, the Ashley and the 
Edisto. The Ashley River is a coastal 
plain stream with salinities ranging 
from 0°/oo to 30 /oo throughout the 
year, whereas the Edisto River has 
a significant freshwater discharge through- 
out the year. The Edisto River forms 
the southwest boundary of Dorchester 
County. Colleton, Berkeley, Charleston, 
and Orangeburg counties share the remain- 
ing inland political boundaries. Because 
of the low topography, many broad, low- 
gradient interior drains are present as 
either extensions of tidal streams and 
rivers or flooded bays and swales. 

The many diverse wetland communities 
occurring within the areas influenced by 
tidal inundation and river flow occupy less 
than 1% of the county. Of this, 439 acres 
(178 ha) consist of brackish water marshes, 
862 acres (349 ha) consist of freshwater 
marshes, and 45 acres (18 ha) consist of 
coastal impoundments (Tiner 1977). 

In 1967, the urbanized area of 
Dorchester County consisted of 5,041 acres 
(2,040 ha) while agricultural land and 
pasture occupied 64,716 acres (26,191 ha) 
(South Carolina State Soil and Water 



Conservation Needs Committee 1970). Cost 
(1968) reported that 263,200 acres 
(106,517 ha) were forested. Agriculture 
and timber production constitute the bulk 
of rural land use. St. George, the county 
seat, serves the rural interests of the 
northern portions of the county, whereas 
Summerville to the south has evolved from a 
similar rural situation into a fast-growing 
residential community serving metropolitan 
Charleston (Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester 
Regional Planning Council 1976). The county 
had a population of 32,276 people in 1970 
(South Carolina Budget and Control Board 
1977), centered around St. George and 
Summerville. 

D. CHARLESTON 

Charleston County is located in the 
lower Atlantic Coastal Plain of South 
Carolina and occupies 940 mi (2,435 km ) 
(South Carolina State Soil and Water 
Conservation Needs Committee 1970). It 
is bounded on the east by approximately 
75 mi (121 km) (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
1972a) of irregular Atlantic Ocean shoreline. 
Several marsh, barrier, and sea islands 
combine to form the coastal fringe. The 
barrier islands, which are typically 
Holocene beach ridge plain islands, 
include Cape, Bull, Capers, Dewees, Isle 
of Palms, Sullivans, Folly, Kiawah, 
Seabrook, and Botany Bay. The marsh 
islands, also Holocene beach ridge plain 
islands in origin but lacking high 
energy beaches, are Murphy, Lighthouse, 
Raccoon Key, and Morris. The sea 
islands, which include James, Johns, 
Wadmalaw, and Edisto, are Pleistocene in 
origin. The coastal islands are separated 
from one another and the mainland by 
tidal creeks and inlets draining an 
extensive system of drowned river 
valleys and shallow, marsh-filled 
coastal lagoons. The profile of the 
mainland topography consists of subtle 
undulations in the landscape charac- 
teristic of the ridge and bay topography 
of beach ridge plains. Elevations in 
the county range from sea level to 
approximately 70 ft (21 m). 

The county is drained by seven 
river systems: the Santee , Wando, Cooper, 
Ashley, Stono, and the North and South 
Edisto. Of these, all but three are 
coastal, i.e., flow dominated by tidal 
action with salinities ranging from /oo 
to 30°/oo throughout the year. The 
three rivers with significant freshwater 
discharges are the Santee, forming 
the northern boundary for the county, 
the Cooper, which bisects the county, 
and the South Edisto, forming the 
southwestern boundary. The inland 
boundary of the county borders parts of 
Colleton, Dorchester, Berkeley, and 
Georgetown counties. Because of the low 
topography, many broad, low-gradient 
interior drains are present as either 



133 



extensions of tidal streams and rivers 
or flooded bays and swales. 

The many diverse wetland commu- 
nities occurring within the areas 
influenced by tidal inundation and river 
flow occupy approximately 28% of the 
county. Proportionately, 142,401 acres 
(57,630 ha) consist of salt and brackish 
water marshes, 5,000 acres (2,024 ha) 
consist of freshwater marshes, and 
22,999 acres (9,308 ha) consist of 
coastal impoundments (Tiner 1977). 

In 1967, the urbanized area of 
Charleston County consisted of 45,416 
acres (18,380 ha) (South Carolina State 
Soil and Water Conservation Needs Com- 
mittee 1970). The amount of urbanized 
land in the county, however, has un- 
doubtedly increased significantly since 
then. Agricultural land presently 
occupies approximately 29,390 acres 
(11,893 ha) and is decreasing slightly 
each year (U.S. Department of Agriculture 
Extension Service, 1978, Clemson, S.C., pers. 
comm. ). Welch (1968) has reported that 
391,300 acres (158,359 ha) of Charleston 
County are forested. Although agri- 
culture and timber production constitute 
the bulk of rural land use, the main 
economic base of the county consists of 
an interrelationship of industrial, 
transportation, and military components 
associated with the Port of Charleston. 
As of 1970, Charleston County had a 
total population of 250,000 (South 
Carolina Budget and Control Board 1977), 
the major portion of which is centered 
around the cities of Charleston and North 
Charleston, the town of Mount Pleasant, 
and several unincorporated public 
service districts. 

E. COLLETON 

Colleton County is located in the 
lower Atlantic Coastal Plain of South 
Carolina and occupies 1,048 mi 
(2,714 km ) (South Carolina State Soil 
and Water Conservation Needs Committee 
1970). It is bounded on the south and 
east by approximately 4 mi (6.4 km) 
(U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 1972a) 
of irregular Atlantic Ocean shoreline. 
Edisto Beach, a barrier island, and Pine 
and Otter islands, which are marsh 
islands, form the coast. The islands 
are Holocene beach ridge plain islands 
separated from the mainland by tidal 
creeks and inlets draining an extensive 
system of drowned river valleys and 
shallow, marsh-filled coastal lagoons. 
The gradient of the mainland topography 
consists of subtle undulations in the 
landscape, characteristic of the ridge 
and bay topography of beach ridge 
plains. Elevations in the county range 
from sea level to approximately 125 ft 
(38.1 m). 



The county is drained by three 
significant river systems: the Edisto, 
Ashepoo, and Combahee-Salkehatchie. All 
three river systems have significant 
freshwater discharges, with the Combahee 
forming the southwestern boundary, the 
Ashepoo bisecting the county, and the 
Edisto forming part of the northern 
boundary of the county. 

The inland boundary of the county 
borders Charleston, Dorchester, Orange- 
burg, Bamberg, Allendale, and Hampton 
counties. Because of the low topography, 
many broad, low-gradient interior drains 
are present as either extensions of 
tidal streams and rivers or flooded bays 
and swales. 

The diverse emergent wetland commu- 
nities occurring within the areas influenced 
by tidal inundation and river flow 
occupy approximately 9% of the county. 
Of this, 30,641 acres (12,400 ha) 
consist of salt and brackish water 
marshes, 8,608 acres (3,484 ha) consist 
of freshwater marshes, and 20,596 acres 
(8,335 ha) consist of coastal impound- 
ments (Tiner 1977). 

In 1967, the urbanized area of 
Colleton County consisted of 26,885 
acres (10,880 ha), while agricultural 
land and pasture occupied 131,300 acres 
(53,137 ha) (South Carolina State Soil 
and Water Conservation Needs Committee 
1970). Cost (1968) reported that 484,500 
acres (196,077 ha) were forested. 
Agriculture and timber production 
constitute the bulk of the economic base 
of the county and are tied to the county 
seat of Walterboro. As of 1970, Colleton 
County had a total population of 27,622 
people (South Carolina Budget and 
Control Board 1977), the majority of 
whom were centered around the county 
seat of Walterboro. 

F. BEAUFORT 

Beaufort County is located in the 
lower Atlantic Coastal Plain of South 
Carolina. Occupying 581 mi (1,505 km ) 
(South Carolina State Soil and Water 
Conservation Needs Committee 1970), it 
is bounded on the south and east by 
approximately 36 mi (58 km) (U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers 1972a) of irregular 
Atlantic Ocean shoreline. A series of 
marsh, barrier, and sea islands forms 
the coast. The marsh islands, which are 
typically Holocene beach ridge plain 
islands, include Little Capers, St. 
Phillips, and Bay Point. The barrier 
islands, also Holocene, include Hunting, 
Fripp, and Pritchards islands. The sea 
islands, which are Pleistocene beach 
ridge plain islands with or without a 
Holocene fringe, include Coosaw, Morgan, 
Ladies, St. Helena, Pinckney, Hilton 
Head, Daufuskle, Port Royal, and Parris 



134 



Island. They are separated from one 
another and the mainland by tidal creeks 
and inlets draining an extensive system 
of drowned river valleys and shallow, 
marsh-fillea coastal lagoons. The 
gradient of the mainland topography 
consists of subtle undulations in the 
landscape characteristic of the ridge 
and bay topography of beach ridge 
plains. Elevations in the county range 
from sea level to approximately 40 ft 
(12 m). 

The county is drained by five 
significant river systems: the May, 
Combahee, New, Broad-Pocotaligo- 
Coosawhatchie, and the Colleton. The May, 
New, Broad-Pocotaligo-Coosawhatchie, and 
Colleton rivers are coastal, i.e., flow 
dominated by tidal action with salinities 
ranging from /oo to 30 /oo present the 
entire year. The Combahee River, however, 
has a sizable freshwater discharge 
throughout the year. Part of the New 
River forms the southwestern boundary and 
the Combahee River forms the northeastern 
boundary of the county. The inland 
boundary of the county borders Colleton, 
Hampton, and Jasper counties. Because 
of the low topography, many broad, low- 
gradient interior drains are present as 
either extensions of tidal streams and 
rivers or flooded bays and swales. 

The diverse emergent wetland communi- 
ties occurring within the areas influenced 
by tidal inundation and river flow occupy 
approximately 37% of the county. Of this, 
130,015 acres (52,617 ha) consist of salt 
and brackish water marshes, 1,523 acres 
(616 ha) consist of freshwater marshes, 
and 4,278 acres (1,731 ha) consist of 
coastal impoundments (Tiner 1977). 

In 1967, the urbanized area of 
Beaufort County consisted of 18,543 acres 
(7,504 ha), while agricultural land and 
pasture occupied 54,381 acres (22,008 ha) 
(South Carolina State Soil and Water 
Conservation Needs Committee 1970). Cost 
(1968) reported that 157,000 acres 
(63,538 ha) were forested. Although 
agriculture and timber production consti- 
tute the bulk of rural land use, the 
principal economy of the county consists 
of an interrelationship of military, 
light industrial, and tourism components. 
As of 1970, Beaufort County had a total 
population of 51,136 people (South 
Carolina Budget and Control Board 1977), 
the majority of whom were centered 
around the county seat of Beaufort. 

G. JASPER 

Jasper County is located in the lower 
Atlantic Coastal Plain of South Carolina. 
Occupying 661 mi (1,712 km 2 ) (South 
Carolina State Soil and Water Conservation 
Needs Committee 1970), it is bounded on 
the south by approximately 2.8 mi (4.5 km) 



(U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 1972a) 
of irregular Atlantic Ocean shoreline. 
Turtle Island, a marsh island, forms 
the coast. The island is a Holocene 
beach ridge plain island separated from 
the mainland by tidal creeks and inlets 
draining a system of drowned river 
valleys. The profile of the mainland 
topography consists of subtle undulations 
in the landscape, characteristic of the 
ridge ~.nd bay topography of beach ridge 
plains. Elevations in the county range 
from sea level to approximately 105 ft 
(32 m). 

The county is drained by two signifi- 
cant river systems the Savannah River 
and the New River. The Savannah, forming 
the southwestern boundary of the county, 
has a sizable freshwater discharge 
(see Table 5-4). The New River, forming 
part of the northern boundary, has a 
much smaller rate of flow. The inland 
boundary of the county borders Beaufort, 
Hampton, Effingham, and Chatham counties. 
Because of the low topography, many 
broad, low-gradient interior drains are 
present as either extensions of tidal 
streams and rivers or flooded bays and 
swales. 

The diverse emergent wetland 
communities occurring within the areas 
influenced by tidal inundation and river 
flow occupy approximately 11.5% of the 
county. Of this, 36,014 acres (14,575 ha) 
consist of salt and brackish water 
marshes, 6,536 acres (2,645 ha) consist 
of freshwater marshes, and 6,224 acres 
(2,519 ha) consist of coastal impoundments 
(Tiner 1977). 

In 1967, the urbanized area of 
Jasper County consisted of 10,600 acres 
(4,290 ha), while agricultural land and 
pasture occupied 48,215 acres (19,513 ha) 
(South Carolina State Soil and Water 
Conservation Needs Committee 1970). Cost 
(1968) reported that 312,900 acres 
(126,613 ha) were forested. Agriculture 
and timber production constitute the bulk 
of rural land use, and provide the 
economic base of the county. As of 1970, 
Jasper County had a total population of 
11,885 people (South Carolina Budget and 
Control Board 1977), the majority of whom 
were centered around the county seat of 
Ridgeland. 



III. GEORGIA COUNTIES 

A. EFFINGHAM 

Effingham County is located in the 
lower Atlantic Coastal Plain of Georgia, 
and occupies some 480 mi (1,243 km ) 
(Coastal Area Planning and Development 
Commission 1975b). The county is 
located inland and has no Atlantic 
Ocean shoreline, but is located on the 
Savannah River and has potential as a 



135 



future port site. The gradient of the 
mainland topography consists of subtle 
undulations in the landscape 
characteristic of the ridge and bay to- 
pography of Pleistocene age beach ridge 
plains. Elevations in the county range 
from sea level to approximately 135 ft 
(41 m). 

The county is drained by two signifi- 
cant river systems: the Savannah and 
Ogeechee. The two rivers have significant 
freshwater discharge. The Savannah 
forms the northeast boundary and the 
Ogeechee forms part of the southwest 
boundary. The political boundaries of 
the county border Chatham, Bryan, 
Bulloch, and Screven counties in Georgia, 
and Hampton and Jasper counties in South 
Carolina. 

Because of the low topography, broad, 
low-gradient interior drains are present 
as streams and rivers. No recent quanti- 
tative data on wetland communities 
occurring within the area influenced by 
tidal inundation and river flow are 
available. There are 455 acres (184 ha) 
of open water in the county (Wilkes 1978). 

In 1978, the urbanized area of 
Effingham County consisted of 7,294 acres 
(2,952 ha), while agriculture consisted 
of 126,975 acres (51,387 ha), and forested 
areas totalled 247,811 acres (100,289 ha) 
(Coastal Area Planning and Development 
Commission 1975b). Although agriculture 
and timber production constitute the bulk 
of rural land use, the main economic 
base of the county consists of an inter- 
relationship of industrial and transporta- 
tional components tied to the Port of 
Savannah. As of 1970, Effingham County 
had a total population of 13,632 people 
(Coastal Area Planning and Development 
Commission 1973), the majority of whom 
were centered around the county seat of 
Springfield. 



B. 



CHATHAM 



Chatham County is located in the 
lower Atlantic Coastal Plain of Georgia. 
Occupying 441 mi (1,142 km ) (Wilkes et al. 
1974), it is bounded on the south and 
east by approximately 23 mi (37 km) of 
irregular Atlantic Ocean shoreline. A 
series of marsh, barrier, and sea islands 
forms the coast. Chatham County's marsh 
islands, Little Tybee and Williamson 
islands are Holocene beach ridge plain 
islands. The barrier islands, also 
Holocene, include Tybee and Wassaw. The 
sea islands, which are Pleistocene beach 
ridge plain islands, include Wilmington 
and Skidaway. Ossabaw, also a Pleistocene 
beach ridge plain island, has a Holocene 
fringe along the ocean shoreline. The 
coastal islands are separated from one 
another and the mainland by tidal creeks 
and inlets draining an extensive system 



of drowned river valleys and shallow, 
marsh-filled coastal lagoons. The 
gradient of the mainland topography 
consists of subtle undulations in the 
landscape characteristic of the ridge 
and bay topography of beach ridge 
plains. Elevations in the county range 
from sea level to approximately 70 ft 
(21 m). 

The county is drained by four signif- 
icant river systems: the Savannah, 
Wilmington, Little Ogeechee, and Ogeechee- 
Canoochee. Of these, the Wilmington and 
Little Ogeechee rivers are coastal, i.e., 
flow dominated by tidal action with 
salinities ranging from 10 /oo to 34 /oo 
throughout the year. The remaining two 
rivers have sizable freshwater discharges. 
The Savannah forms the northeast boundary 
and the Ogeechee forms part of the 
southwest boundary of the county. The 
inland boundary of the county borders 
Jasper County, South Carolina, and 
Effingham and Bryan counties, Georgia. 

Because of low topography, many 
broad, low-gradient interior drains are 
present as either extensions of tidal 
streams and rivers or flooded bays and 
swales. The many diverse wetland 
communities occurring within the areas 
influenced by tidal inundation and river 
flow occupy approximately 38% of the 
county. Proportionately, 91,965 acres 
(37,218 ha) consist of saltwater and 
brackish marshes, 12,180 acres (4,929 ha) 
consist of freshwater marshes, and 
2,000 acres (809 ha) consist of tidal 
swamps (Wilkes 1976). There are also 
48,955 acres (19,812 ha) of open water 
in the county (Wilkes 1978). 

In 1978, the urbanized area of 
Chatham County consisted of 61,074 acres 
(24,717 ha), while agriculture consisted 
of 21,197 acres (8,578 ha), and forest 
consisted of 109,779 acres (44,428 ha) 
(Wilkes 1978). As of 1970, Chatham 
County had a total population of 
187,767 people (Coastal Area Planning 
and Development Commission 1973), the 
majority of whom were centered around 
metropolitan Savannah, the county seat. 

C. BRYAN 

.2 
Bryan County occupies 443 mi 

(1,147 km ) (Coastal Area Planning and 
Development Commission 1975a) of the lower 
Atlantic Coastal Plain of Georgia. The 
county has no ocean shoreline but has water 
access to the Atlantic via St. Catherines 
Sound. The gradient of the mainland to- 
pography consists of subtle undulations in the 
landscape characteristic of the ridge and bay 
topography of Pleistocene beach ridge plains. 
Elevations in the county range from sea level 
to approximately 150 ft (46 m). 

The county is drained by two signifi- 
cant river systems: the Medway-Jericho 



136 



and Canoochee-Ogeechee. The Medway- 
Jericho, which forms a part of the 
southwestern boundary of the county, is 
a coastal river, i.e., flow dominated by 
tidal action with salinities ranging 
from 0°/oo to 30°/oo present throughout 
the year. The Canoochee River forms the 
upper portion of the southwestern boundary 
of the county; it then crosses the county 
and joins the Ogeechee River, which forms 
the northeastern boundary of the county. 
This river system has a predominately 
freshwater discharge the entire year. 
The inland boundaries border Chatham, 
Effingham, Bulloch, Evans, and Liberty 
counties. 

Because of the low topography, many 
broad, low-gradient interior drains are 
present as either extensions of tidal 
streams and rivers or flooded bays and 
swales. The diverse wetland communities 
occurring within the areas influenced by 
tidal inundation and river flow occupy 
approximately 9% of the county. Pro- 
portionately, 20,495 acres (8,294 ha) 
consist of brackish and saltwater 
marshes, 2,020 acres (818 ha) consist of 
freshwater marshes, and 3,685 acres 
(1,491 ha) consist of tidal swamps 
(Wilkes 1976). There are also 8,520 
acres (3,448 ha) of open water in the 
county (Wilkes 1978). 

In 1974, the urbanized area of 
Bryan County consisted of 7,840 acres 
(3,173 ha), while agriculture and forest 
lands totalled 161,310 acres (65,282 ha) 
(Coastal Area Planning and Development 
Commission 1975a). Although agriculture 
and timber production constitute the 
bulk of the rural land use, the principal 
economy of the county consists of an 
interrelationship of pulp and paper and 
military components. As of 1970, Bryan 
County had a population of 6,539 people 
(Coastal Area Planning and Development 
Commission 1973), the majority of whom 
were centered around Pembroke, the county 
seat, and Richmond Hill. 

D. LIBERTY 

Liberty County is located in the 
lower Atlantic Coastal Plain of Georgia. 
Occupying 514 mi (1,331 km ) (Coastal 
Area Planning and Development Commission 
1975b) , the county is bounded on the 
east by approximately 11 mi (18 km) of 
irregular Atlantic Ocean shoreline. The 
coast of Liberty County is bounded by 
St. Catherines Island which is a sea 
island. Colonels Island, also a sea 
island, is located inland of St. 
Catherines. Colonels and St. Catherii .is 
are Pleistocene beach ridge plain 
islands, with St. Catherines having a 
Holocene fringe along the ocean shoreline. 
They are separated from one another 
and the mainland by tidal creeks and 
inlets draining an extensive system of 



drowned river valleys and shallow, 
marsh-filled coastal lagoons. The 
profile of the mainland topography 
consists of subtle undulations in the 
landscape, characteristic of the ridge 
and bay topography of beach ridge 
plains. Elevations in the county range 
from sea level to approximately 70 ft 
(21 m). 

The county is drained by four 
significant river systems: the Medway- 
Jericho, Canoochee, North Newport, and 
South Newport. All except the Canoochee 
are coastal rivers, i.e., flow dominated 
by tidal action with salinities ranging 
from /oo to 30 /oc present throughout 
the year. The Canoochee River, however, 
drains the northwestern portion of the 
county and has a predominantly freshwater 
discharge. Part of the Medway River 
forms the northwestern boundary of the 
county and a part of the South Newport 
River forms the southwestern boundary. 
The inland boundaries border Bryan, 
Evans, Tattnall, Long, and Mcintosh 
counties. 

Because of the low topography, many 
broad, low-gradient interior drains are 
present as either extensions of tidal 
streams and rivers or flooded bays and 
swales. The many diverse wetland 
communities occuring within the areas 
influenced by tidal inundation and river 
flow occupy approximately 13% of the 
county. Proportionately, 39,761 acres 
(16,091 ha) consist of saltwater and 
brackish marshes, 1,500 acres (607 ha) 
consist of freshwater marshes, and 1,000 
acres (405 ha) consist of tidal swamps 
(Wilkes 1976). There are also 16,981 
acres (6,872 ha) of open water in the 
county (Wilkes 1978). 

In 1976, the urbanized area of 
Liberty County consisted of 7,946 acres 
(3,216 ha), while agriculture and forest 
lands totalled 278,753 acres (112,811 
ha) (Coastal Area Planning and Development 
Commission 1978). Although agriculture 
and timber production constitute the 
bulk of rural land use, the economy of 
the county consists of an interrelationship 
of pulp and paper, textiles, and military 
components. As of 1970, Liberty County 
had a population of 17,569 people (Coastal 
Area Planning and Development Commission 
1973./, the majority of whom were 
centered around the Hinesville-Fort 
Stewart complex. Hinesville is the 
county seat. 



E. 



MCINTOSH 



Mcintosh County is located in the 
lower Atlantic Coastal Plain of Georgia. 
Occupying 426 mi (1,103 km ) (Coastal 
Area Planning and Development Commission 
1975b), the county is bounded on the 
east by approximately 14 m (23 km) of 



137 



irregular Atlantic Ocean shoreline. A 
series of low, sandy marsh, barrier, 
and sea islands forms the coast. There 
is one marsh island, Wolf, which is a 
Holocene beach ridge plain island. 
Blackbeard, a Holocene barrier island, 
is of the same origin. The sea island, 
Sapelo, is a Pleistocene beach ridge 
plain island with a Holocene fringe 
along the ocean shoreline consisting of 
Nanny Goat Beach and Cabretta Island. 
The islands are separated from one 
another and the mainland by tidal creeks 
and inlets draining an extensive system 
of drowned river valleys and shallow, 
marsh-filled lagoons. The gradient of 
the mainland topography consists of 
subtle undulations in the landscape, 
characteristic of the ridge and bay 
topography of beach ridge plains. 
Elevations in the county range from sea 
level to approximately 80 ft (24 m). 

The county is drained by three 
significant river systems: the South 
Newport, Sapelo, and Altamaha. The 
South Newport, forming part of the 
northeastern boundary, and the Sapelo, 
bisecting the county, are coastal rivers, 
i.e., flow dominated by tidal action 
with salinities ranging from 0°/oo to 
30 /oo present throughout the year. The 
Altamaha, which forms the southern 
boundary, has a predominantly freshwater 
discharge the entire year. The inland 
boundary of the county borders Liberty, 
Long, Wayne, and Glynn counties. 

Because of the low topography, many 
broad, low-gradient interior drains are 
present as either extensions of tidal 
streams and rivers or flooded bays and 
swales. The diverse wetland communities 
occurring within the areas influenced by 
tidal inundation and river flow occupy 
approximately 36% of the county. Pro- 
portionately, 77,485 acres (31,358 ha) 
consist of saltwater and brackish marshes, 
5,647 acres (2,285 ha) consist of freshwater 
marshes, and 14,033 acres (5,679 ha) 
consist of tidal swamps (Wilkes 1976). 
There are also 35,503 acres (14,368 ha) 
of open water in the county (Wilkes 
1978). 

In 1976, the urbanized area of 
Mcintosh County consisted of 3,760 acres 
(1,522 ha), while agriculture and forest 
lands totalled 171,715 acres (69,493 ha) 
(Coastal Area Planning and Development 
Commission 1978). Agriculture and timber 
production constitute the bulk of rural 
land use and also provide the county 
with its economic base. As of 1970, 
Mcintosh County had a population of 
7,371 people (Coastal Area Planning and 
Development Commission 1973), the majority 
of whom were centered around Darien, the 
county seat. 



F. 



GLYNN 



Glynn County is located in the 
lower Atlantic Coastal Plain of Georgia. 
Occupying 491 mi (1,272 km ) (Coastal 
Area Planning and Development Commission 
1975b), the county is bounded on the 
south and east by approximately 21 mi 
(34 km) of irregular Atlantic Ocean 
shoreline. A series of marsh, barrier, 
and sea islands borders the coast. 
Little St. Simons is a marsh island; Sea 
Island is a barrier island; and St. 
Simons and Jekyll are sea islands. The 
islands are separated from one another 
and the mainland by tidal creeks and inlets 
draining an extensive system of drowned 
river valleys and shallow, marsh-filled 
coastal lagoons. The gradient of the 
mainland topography consists of subtle 
undulations in the landscape charac- 
teristic of the ridge and bay topography 
of beach ridge plains. Elevations in 
the county range from sea level to 
approximately 50 ft (15 m). 

The county is drained by three 
significant river systems: The Altamaha, 
Turtle-Brunswick, and Little Satilla. 
The Turtle-Brunswick, which almost 
bisects the county, and the Little 
Satilla, which forms a portion of the 
southern boundary of the county, are 
coastal rivers, i.e., flow dominated by 
tidal action with salinities ranging 
from 5 /oo to 30 /oo present throughout 
the year. The Altamaha, which forms the 
northern boundary of the county, is 
dominated by freshwater discharge the 
entire year. The inland boundaries 
border Mcintosh, Wayne, Brantley, and 
Camden counties. 

Because of the low topography, many 
broad, low-gradient interior drains are 
present as either extensions of tidal 
streams and rivers or flooded bays and 
swales. The diverse wetland communities 
occurring within the areas influenced by 
tidal inundation and river flow occupy 
approximately 37% of the county. Pro- 
portionately, 74,236 acres (30,043 ha) 
consist of saltwater and brackish marshes, 
4,700 acres (1,902 ha) consist of fresh- 
water marshes, and 4,700 acres (1,902 
ha) consist of tidal swamps (Wilkes 
1976). There are also 29,474 acres 
(11,928 ha) of open water in the county 
(Wilkes 1978). 

In 1976, the urbanized area of 
Glynn County consisted of 24,935 acres 
(10,091 ha), while agriculture and forest 
lands totalled 155,109 acres (62,773 ha) 
(Coastal Area Planning and Development 
Commission 1978). Although agriculture 
and timber production constitute the 
bulk of rural land use, the main economy 
of the county consists of an interrela- 
tionship of transportation, military, 
industrial, and tourism components. As 



138 



of 1970, Glynn County had a population 
of 50,528 people (Coastal Area Planning 
and Development Commission 1973), the 
majority of whom were centered around 
Brunswick, the county seat. 

G. CAMDEN 

Camden County is located in the 
lower Atlantic Coastal Plain of Georgia. 
Occupying 653 mi (1,691 km ) (Coastal 
Area Planning and Development Commission 
1975b), the county is bounded on the 
east by approximately 18 mi (29 km) of 
irregular Atlantic Ocean shoreline. 
Little Cumberland and Cumberland are sea 
islands which form the coast of Camden 
County. They are separated from one 
another and the mainland by tidal creeks 
and inlets draining an extensive system 
of drowned river valleys and shallow, 
marsh-filled coastal lagoons. The 
gradient of the mainland topography 
consists of subtle undulations in the 
landscape, characteristic of the ridge 
and bay topography of beach ridge 
plains. Elevations in the county range 
from sea level to approximately 80 ft 
(24 m). 



county consists of an interrelationship 
of these elements plus light industry 
and a growing military component at the 
U.S. Navy's Kings Bay Fleet Ballistic 
Missile Submarine Refit Site. As of 
1970, Camden County had a population of 
11,334 people (Coastal Area Planning and 
Development Commission 1978), the 
majority of whom were centered around 
Kingsland and St. Marys. Woodbine is 
the county seat. 



The county is drained by four 
significant river systems: the Little 
Satilla, Satilla, Crooked, and St. 
Marys. The Little Satilla, forming a 
portion of the northern boundary, and 
the Crooked are coastal rivers, i.e., 
flow dominated by tidal action with 
salinities ranging from /oo to 
30 /oo present throughout the year. The 
Satilla, which almost bisects the 
county, and the St. Marys, which forms 
the southern boundary of the county, 
have a predominantly freshwater 
discharge during most of the year. The 
inland boundaries border Glynn, Brantley, 
and Charlton counties, Georgia, and 
Nassau County, Florida. Because of the 
low topography, many broad, low-gradient 
interior drains are present as either 
extensions of tidal streams and rivers 
or flooded bays and swales. The diverse 
wetland communities occurring within the 
areas influenced by tidal inundation and 
river flow occupy approximately 29% of 
the county. Proportionately, 78,275 
acres (31,678 ha) consist of brackish 
and saltwater marshes, and 21,000 acres 
(8,499 ha) consist of freshwater marshes 
(Wilkes 1976). There are also 35,602 
acres (14,408 ha) of open water in the 
county (Wilkes 1978). 

In 1976, the urbanized area of 
Camden County consisted of 5,392 acres 
(2,182 ha), while agriculture and forest 
lands totalled 292,253 acres (118,275 
ha) (Coastal Area Planning and Development 
Commission 1978). Agriculture and 
timber production constitute the bulk of 
rural land use, and the economy of the 



139 



APPENDIX B 
ISLAND DESCRIPTIONS 

I. INTRODUCTION 

Appendix B contains brief descrip- 
tions of the major islands in the Sea 
Island Coastal Region from Pawleys 
Island, South Carolina, to Cumberland 
Island, Georgia (Preface Fig. 2). Each 
description is comprised of physiographic 
data, dominant vegetative types, rates 
of erosion and/or deposition, and 
miscellaneous data, such as real estate 
prices and development plans. The 
descriptions have been written to 
provide a brief sketch of each island 
for quick reference. Tabular summaries 
of island data are shown in Table 5-1. 
Physiographic, biological, and cultural 
resources of these islands are presented 
in graphic format in the various map 
series found in the Characterization 
Atlas. 

James Island, South Carolina, 
and Sapelo Island, Georgia were chosen 
as examples of developed and undeveloped 
sea islands, respectively. While James 
Island still has agricultural zones, it 
is mainly an area of housing developments 
and, to a lesser extent, shopping areas. 
Sapelo Island is predominantly undeveloped 
except for agricultural areas. The 
other islands described in this appendix, 
except St. Helena, have an ocean front and 
were not selected as specific examples of 
developmental state. 



II. SOUTH CAROLINA ISLANDS 

A. PAWLEYS ISLAND 

Pawleys Island is a barrier island 
located in Georgetown County, South 
Carolina, between Litchfield Beach to 
the north and Debidue Island to the 
south. The island is separated from 
Litchfield Beach by Midway Inlet and 
Pawleys Island Creek and from Debidue 
Island by Pawleys Inlet. A narrow band 
of salt marsh and tidal creeks separates 
the island from the mainland. The island 
has a sandy beachfront along its entire 
length of 3.5 mi (5.6 km), and a maximum 
width of 0.5 mi (0.8 km), including both 
high ground and marsh. In 1975, there 
were 162 acres (65.6 ha) of totally 
developed high land, 8 acres (3.2 ha) of 
undeveloped high land, and 640 acres 
(259 ha) of salt marsh (Warner and 
Strouss 1976). 

Pawleys Island is a Holocene beach 
ridge island with a remnant maritime 
forest community in the undisturbed 
natural dune areas. Elevations on the 
island range from sea level to 13 ft (4 



m) at the top of the beach ridges. 
The remnant maritime forest consists of 
live oak, loblolly pine, wax myrtle, 
cabbage palmetto, southern red cedar, 
and hollies. The typically polyhaline 
salt marsh is dominated by smooth cord- 
grass, with less abundant species such 
as black needlerush, sea ox-eye, salt- 
meadow cordgrass, glassworts, and salt 
grass also occurring. 

The ocean front beach on Pawleys 
Island is experiencing erosion. To help 
remedy this condition, the South Carolina 
Highway Department constructed a groin 
field. This construction began in the 
late 1940 's and has continued to date. 
Measured rates of shore retreat for the 
bulk of the island average 2 ft/yr (0.6 
m/yr) for the period 1872 - 1966 (U.S. 
Army Corps of Engineers 1972b). 

Shore-parallel sand transport along 
this island is perhaps best indicated by 
the continual southward migration of 
Pawleys Inlet. However, Midway Inlet 
has exhibited no long-term, net migration. 
Computer modeling of shore-parallel sand 
transport indicates the existence of 
several very short transport cells 
moving material northward (Stapor and 
Murali 1978). The magnitude of this 
transport is less than 10,000 m /yr 
(13,079 ydVyr). 

Pawleys Island was used by wealthy 
plantation owners during the nineteenth 
century as a resort and refuge from the 
diseases of the swamp. Twentieth century 
residential resort development has 
enveloped all but 8 acres (3.2 ha) of 
high land on the island. Real estate 
prices on the island have soared: lots 
100 ft by 150 ft (30.5 m by 45.7 m) begin 
at $40,000 on the ocean, $30,000 on the 
sound front, and $20,000 in the interior 
of the island (Warner and Strouss 1976). 
Scarcity of remaining high land acreage 
should limit further development. The 
entire island is privately owned. 

B. NORTH ISLAND 

North Island is a barrier island 
located in Georgetown County, South 
Carolina, between Debidue Island to 
the north and South Island to the south. 
The island is separated from Debidue 
Island by North Inlet and from South 
Island by Winyah Bay. The island has a 
sandy beachfront that is 8.0 mi (12.9 km) 
long, a length of 8.3 mi (13.4 km), 
and a maximum width of 2.0 mi (3.2 km), 
including both high ground and marsh. 
There is 1 acre (0.4 ha) of developed 
high land supporting a U.S. Coast Guard 
Station. The remaining 6,029 acres 
(2,440 ha), including 700 acres (283 ha) 
of high land and 5,329 acres (2,157 ha) 
of marsh, remain in an undeveloped state 
(South Carolina Wildlife and Marine 
Resources Department 1975a). 



140 



North Island is a Holocene beach 
ridge island with a maritime forest 
community on the beach ridge areas. 
Elevations on the island range from sea 
level to 42 ft (12.8 m) at the top of 
the highest ridge. The major components 
of the maritime forest community are 
live oak, loblolly pine, southern red 
cedar, wax myrtle, cabbage palmetto, and 
hollies. The typically polyhaline salt 
marsh is dominated by smooth cordgrass , 
with less abundant species such as black 
needlerush, sea ox-eye, saltmeadow 
cordgrass, glass-worts, and salt grass 
also occurring. 

Sequential aerial photographs and 
historical charts indicate that the 
central portion of North Island's sandy 
beach displays the most consistent 
stability, whereas extreme variability 
is evident at either end of the beach 
(Hubbard et al. 1977). This is generally 
thought to be the result of the effects 
of adjacent tidal inlets on both ends 
of the island. Individual littoral sand 
transport cells carry sand for short 
distances in one of several directions, 
resulting in net erosion of the north 
end of the the island and net deposition 
at the south end of the island. Computer 
modeling of shore-parallel sand transport 
under free waves (deep-ocean generated) 
predicts a net erosion of 42,000 m /yr 
(54,932 yd /yr) at the northern third of 
the island and a net deposition of 
10,000 m 3 /yr (13,079 yd /yr) at the 
southern tip of the island (Stapor and 
Murali 1978). Finley (1978) studied 
in detail the North Inlet ebb- and flood- 
tidal deltas, littoral transport, and 
resulting sediment deposition. He con- 
cluded that the deltas grew at a rate of 
433,000 m /yr (566,000 yd /yr) between 
1925 and 1964 and that this material was 
removed from the littoral drift. Inlet- 
directed littoral drift (from both north 
and south) is estimated to be 
353,000 m 3 /yr (460,000 yd 3 /yr) based on 
field observations made during 1974-75. 
Nummedal and Humphries (1978) concluded 
that net littoral drift is southerly, 
towards North Island, at this inlet and 
was 87,000 m 3 (114,000 yd 3 ) and 390,000 
m 3 (510,000 yd 3 ) during 1974-75 and 
1975-76, respectively. Gross littoral 
drift (the combination of material moving 
north and south) was estimated to be 
800,000 m 3 (1,047,200 yd 3 ) for each of 
the 2 years during which field observa- 
tions were made. 

C. SOUTH ISLAND 

South Island is a marsh island 
located in Georgetown County, South 
Carolina, between North Island to the 
north and Cedar Island to the south. 
The island is separated from North 
Island by Winyah Bay and from Cedar Island 
by North Santee Bay. A wide band of 



marsh, tidal creeks, and impoundments 
separate the island from Cat Island to 
the west. There are 870 acres (352 ha) 
of undeveloped high land, 2,355 acres 
(953 ha) of impoundments, and 3,450 acres 
(1,396 ha) of salt and brackish water 
marsh on the island. The island has a 
sandy beachfront that is 5.5 mi (8.9 km) 
long, a length of 5.5 mi (8.9 km), 
and a maximum width of 2.0 mi (3.2 km), 
including both high ground and marsh. 

South Island is a Holocene marsh 
island with a maritime forest community. 
Elevations on the island range from sea 
level to 21 ft (6.4 -n) at the top of the 
beach ridges. The maritime forest 
consists of live oak, loblolly pine, southern 
red cedar, wax myrtle, cabbage palmetto, 
and hollies. 

Vegetation within impounded areas 
consists of a variety of fresh and 
brackish water species, including cat- 
tails, bulrushes, widgeon grass, giant 
cordgrass, smooth cordgrass, and others. 
Unimpounded areas contain typical salt- 
marsh species such as smooth cordgrass, 
glassworts, and salt grass. The northern 
end of the island, which borders Winyah 
Bay, is closed to shellfishing due to the 
influence of residential and industrial 
development in Georgetown. The southern 
end of the island, which borders on the 
North Santee River, has high water quality 
and is open for shellfishing. 

Comparison of shoreline maps of the 
South Island region over the interval 
1876 to 1964 indicates that between 1925 
and 1964 South Island experienced a net 
deposition rate of 70,000 m /yr 
(91,553 yd /yr). This sand moved on- 
shore under the influence of waves and 
tidal currents rather than by shore- 
parallel sand transport (Stapor and 
Murali 1978). Nineteenth- and twentieth- 
century shorelines from topographic maps 
prepared by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic 
Survey and the U.S. Geological Survey 
for South Island are presented on Atlas 
plate 24. 



D. 



CEDAR ISLAND 



Cedar Island is a marsh island 
located in Georgetown County, South 
Carolina, between South Island to the 
north and Murphy Island to the south. 
The island is separated from South Island 
by North Santee Bay and from Murphy 
Island by the South Santee River. 
Broad expanses of unmodified marshlands 
and impounded marshlands, along with 
Four Mile Creek Canal (a portion of the 
AIWW), separate the western portion of 
the island from the mainland. The 
island has a sandy beachfront 3.0 mi 
(4.8 km) long, a total length of 4.8 mi 
(7.7 km), and a maximum width of 4.1 mi 
(6.6 km) including both high ground and 



141 



marsh. There are 280 acres (113 ha) of 
high land, 2,700 acres (1,093 ha) of 
impoundments, and 1,070 acres (433 ha) of 
unmodified salt marsh (Warner and Strouss 
1976). 

Cedar Island is a Holocene marsh 
island with a maritime forest community 
in the undisturbed natural beach ridge 
areas. Coring by Aburawi (1972) indicates 
that structurally the island is a chenier 
underlain by deltaic deposits rather than 
sand. Elevations on the island range from 
sea level to 16 ft (4.9 m). The major 
components of the remnant maritime forest 
are live oak, loblolly pine, wax myrtle, 
southern red cedar, cabbage palmetto, 
and hollies. 

Vegetation within the impoundments 
consists of a variety of salt and brackish 
water species including widgeon grass, 
dwarf spikerush, smooth cordgrass, salt 
grass, and sea ox-eye. The typically 
polyhaline saltmarsh areas are dominated 
by smooth cordgrass, with less abundant 
species such as saltmeadow cordgrass, 
glassworts, black needlerush, sea ox-eye, 
and marsh elder also occurring. 

Cedar Island is currently subjected 
to shoreline changes that are the result 
of the interaction between river discharge, 
tidal currents, and wave action. The 
northern portion of the island appears to 
be an area of net deposition, whereas 
the southern face of the island appears 
to be experiencing significant erosion 
(Stephen et al. 1975). 

Cedar Island was used by rice 
planters in the early 1800's as a retreat 
from the diseases of the swamp that 
reportedly infested the nearby plantations. 
Planters from Santee Delta and lower 
Winyah Bay came to Cedar Island to enjoy 
a kind of marooning while away from the 
plantation (Doar 1908). Since the early 
1900' s, Cedar Island was managed as a 
waterfowl hunting reserve by the Santee 
Gun Club. In 1974, the State of South 
Carolina acquired the island as a part 
of the Santee Coastal Reserve through 
the Nature Conservancy. Management plans 
are currently being formulated that will 
provide limited natural resource 
recreation while maintaining the majority 
of the island as a wildlife reserve 
(Warner and Strouss 1976). 

E. MURPHY ISLAND 

Murphy Island is a marsh island 
located in Charleston County, South 
Carolina, between Cedar Island to the 
north and Cape Island to the south. The 
island is separated from Cedar Island by 
the South Santee River and from Cape 
Island by Cape Roraain Harbor. A broad 
expanse of impounded marsh separates 
the island from the mainland. The 



island has a sandy beachfront that is 
4.1 mi (6.6 km) long, a total length 
of 6.0 mi (9.7 km), and a maximum width 
of 3.3 mi (4.9 km), including both high 
ground and marsh. There are 690 acres 
(279 ha) of high land and 7,340 acres 
(2,971 ha) of marsh including 5,500 
acres (2,226 ha) of impoundments (Warner 
and Strouss 1976). 

Murphy Island is a Holocene island 
with a maritime forest community. Coring 
by Aburawi (1972) indicates that the 
island is underlain by deltaic deposits. 
Elevations on the island range from sea 
level to 16 ft (4.9 m). The forest cover 
consists of live oak, loblolly pine, 
southern red cedar, wax myrtle, cabbage 
palmetto, and hollies. 

Vegetation within impounded areas 
consists of a variety of fresh and brackish 
water species, including cat-tails, bul- 
rushes, widgeon grass, giant cordgrass, 
smooth cordgrass, and others. Unimpounded 
areas contain typical saltmarsh species 
such as black needlerush, sea ox-eye, 
saltmeadow cordgrass, glassworts, and salt 
grass . 

Murphy Island has prograded seaward 
since 1873-74 between 800 and 500 m 
(2,625 and 1,640 ft) and southward some 
240 m (787 ft). The northern portion 
facing the South Santee River has under- 
gone net erosion as the main channel 
migrates southward, a local loss of some 
650 m (2,133 ft) (Stapor and Murali 1978). 
Shoreline changes recorded by aerial 
photography are presented in Appendix 
Figure B-l and cover the interval 1941 - 
1973. 

Murphy Island was part of the Harry 
Plantation, an early nineteenth-century 
rice plantation which, in 1836, was converted 
to cotton growing. The impounded rice 
fields were maintained by the Santee Gun 
Club until 1974, when the area was turned 
over to the State of South Carolina 
through the Nature Conservancy. The State 
will continue to manage the area for 
waterfowl habitat, but will permit limited 
recreation in the area. Murphy Island will 
be maintained in its natural state. 

F. CAPE ISLAND 

Cape Island is a barrier island 
located in Charleston County, South 
Carolina, between Murphy Island to the 
north and Lighthouse Island to the south- 
west. The island is separated from Murphy 
Island by Cape Romain Harbor and from 
Lighthouse Island by Key Inlet. A broad 
expanse of salt marsh separates the island 
from the mainland. The island has a sandy 
beachfront along its entire length of 5.3 
mi (8.5 km), and a maximum width, 
including both high ground and marsh, of 
1.3 mi (2.1 km). Of the 1,500 total 
acres (607 ha) of Cape Island, 875 acres 



142 



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143 



(354 ha) are composed of high land and 
625 acres (253 ha) are composed of marsh 
and impoundments (Warner and Strouss 
1976). 

Vegetative cover on Cape Island 
consists of a scrub shrub and immature 
maritime forest community surrounded 
by a high salinity salt marsh. 
Elevations on the island range from sea 
level to 10 ft (3.0 m) at the top of 
the higher beach ridges. The major 
components of the scrub shrub community 
are wax myrtle, southern red cedar, and 
hollies. The only large trees on the 
island are loblolly pines. The typically 
polyhaline salt marsh is dominated by 
smooth cordgrass in the low marsh areas, 
with less abundant species such as salt- 
meadow cordgrass, sea ox-eye, glassworts, 
salt grass, and black needlerush also 
occurring. 

Cape Island has undergone long-term 
erosion along most of its shoreline. 
Sediments eroded from the apex of Cape 
Island move away in two directions 
forming recurved spits to the north and 
to the west. The northernmost portion 
of the northern spit has accreted more 
than 2,000 ft (610 m) since 1941. The 
western spit is over 4,000 ft (1,219 m) 
long and was accumulated between 1941 and 
1968 at an average rate of 145 ft/yr 
(44.2 m/yr) (Stephen et al. 1975). All 
other localities along the front beach 
of Cape Island show net erosion. Nine- 
teenth- and twentieth-century shorelines 
from topographic maps prepared by the 
U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey and the 
U.S. Geological Survey for Cape Island 
are presented on Atlas plate 25. 

Cape Island, owned by the U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, is one of four 
islands which make up Cape Romain National 
Wildlife Refuge. The area provides 
valuable habitat for colonial-nesting 
shorebirds and over-wintering migratory 
waterfowl. The area is also recognized 
as one of the major nesting beaches for 
the endangered loggerhead sea turtle. 
The island is undeveloped and has 
restricted public access (Warner and 
Strouss 1976). 

G. LIGHTHOUSE ISLAND 

Lighthouse Island is a low marsh 
island located in Charleston County, 
South Carolina, between Cape Island to 
the northeast and Raccoon Key to the 
southwest. The island is separated 
from Cape Island by Cape Romain Harbor 
and from Raccoon Key by Key Inlet. The 
island is separated from the mainland 
by a broad expanse of tidal creeks and 
salt marsh which are part of the Cape 
Romain National Wildlife Refuge. There 
are 943 total acres (382 ha) of land 
on Lighthouse Island of which 37 acres 



(15 ha) are high land and 906 acres 
(367 ha) are marsh (Warner and Strouss 
1976). The island has a sandy beach- 
front that is 2.0 mi (3.2 km) long, a 
total length of 2.4 mi (3.9 km), and a 
maximum width, including both high ground 
and marsh, of 0.9 mi (1.4 km). 

The island is a Holocene marsh 
island surrounded by a high salinity 
salt marsh. Elevations on the island 
range from sea level to 10 ft (3.0 m) 
at the top of the dunes. A scrub shrub 
community consisting of wax myrtle, 
cabbage palmetto, southern red cedar, 
and hollies is present. The typically 
polyhaline salt marsh is dominated by 
smooth cordgrass, with less abundant 
species such as black needlerush, sea 
ox-eye, saltmeadow cordgrass, glass- 
worts, and salt grass also occurring. 

Lighthouse Island, owned by the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is one 
of four islands which make up the Cape 
Romain National Wildlife Refuge. The 
area is important because it provides 
valuable nesting habitat for various 
species of birds as well as for loggerhead 
turtles. The area also provides impor- 
tant habitat for migrating waterfowl. 
Parts of the refuge have been recently 
designated as wilderness areas. The refuge 
is totally undeveloped, but some 15,000 
to 20,000 people tour the area each year 
(Warner and Strouss 1976). Nineteenth- 
and twentieth-century shorelines from 
topographic maps prepared by the U.S. 
Coast and Geodetic Survey and the U.S. 
Geological Survey for Lighthouse Island 
are presented on Atlas plate 25. 



H. 



RACCOON KEY 



Raccoon Key is a low marsh island 
located in Charleston County, South 
Carolina, between Lighthouse Island to 
the east and Bull Island to the south- 
west. The island is separated from 
Lighthouse Island by Key Inlet and 
from Bull Island by Bulls Bay. Raccoon 
Key is separated from the mainland by 
a broad expanse of salt marsh and tidal 
creeks. There are 165 acres (67 ha) of 
land on Raccoon Key of which 25 acres 
(10 ha) are high land and 140 acres (57 ha) 
are salt marsh (Warner and Strouss 1976). 
The island has a sandy beachfront that is 

5.4 mi (8.7 km) long, a length of 

5.5 mi (8.9 km), and a maximum width, 
including both high ground and marsh, 
of 1.4 mi (2.2 km). 

Raccoon Key consists of a washover 
beach backed by a high salinity salt 
marsh. Elevations on the island range 
from sea level to less than 5 ft (1.5 m). 
The adjacent salt marsh is dominated by 
smooth cordgrass in the low marsh areas, 
with less abundant species such as salt- 
meadow cordgrass, glassworts, black 



144 



needlerush, sea ox-eye, and salt grass in 
the high marsh areas. 

Raccoon Key has a transgressive 
shoreline whose beaches consist of eroding 
marsh mud, a low sand and shell berm, and 
washover terraces. Measured erosion rates 
range from 600 to 1,500 ft/yr (183 to 
457 m/yr). A long-term erosional trend 
is indicated for Raccoon Key (Stephen 
et al. 1975). 

Raccoon Key, owned by the U.S. Fish 
and Wildlife Service, is one of four 
islands which make up the Cape Romain 
National Wildlife Refuge. The area is 
valued as prime nesting habitat for many 
species of shorebirds and the endangered 
loggerhead turtle. The area is also 
popular for recreational surf fishing 
and beachcombing. Raccoon Key is part 
of the Wilderness Area of the Cape Romain 
National Wildlife Refuge which is totally 
undeveloped (Warner and Strouss 1976). 
Nineteenth- and twentieth-century shore- 
lines from topographic maps prepared by 
the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey and 
the U.S. Geological Survey for Raccoon 
Key are presented on Atlas plate 25. 

I. BULL ISLAND 

Bull Island is a barrier island 
located in Charleston County, South 
Carolina, between Raccoon Key to the north 
and Capers Island to the south. The 
island is separated from Raccoon Key by 
Bulls Bay and from Capers Island by Price 
Inlet. A maze of tidal creeks and small 
marsh islands separates the island from 
the mainland. There are some 4,500 acres 
(1,821 ha) on Bull Island of which 1,980 
acres (801 ha) are high land and 2,520 
acres (1,020 ha) are salt marsh. The 
island has a sandy beachfront along its 
entire length of 6.8 mi (10.9 km), and a 
maximum width, including both high 
ground and marsh, of 1.9 mi (3.1 km). 

Bull Island is a Holocene beach 
ridge island backed by a high salinity 
salt marsh. Elevations on the island 
range from sea level to 27 ft (8.2 m) 
at the top of the beach ridges. The 
maritime forest consists of live oak, 
loblolly pine, wax myrtle, cabbage 
palmetto, southern red cedar, and hollies. 
The typically polyhaline salt marsh is 
dominated by smooth cordgrass, with less 
abundant species such as black needlerush, 
sea ox-eye, saltmeadow cordgrass, glass- 
worts, and salt grass also occurring. 

Comparison of shoreline maps of 
Bulls Bay over the interval 1859 to 1963 
indicates erosion of 5.37 - 1.55 x 
10 m (7.03 -2.03 x 10 yd ) and deposi- 
tion of 5.82 ±1.55 x loV (7.6 ±2.03 x 
10 yd ) occurring on or near the northern 
Bull Island shore (Stapor and Murali 



1978). This averages out to a transport 
of 73,000 m 3 /yr (95,477 yd 3 /yr), with 
material being eroded from this northern 
Bull Island shore and deposited imme- 
diately adjacent to the island up against 
the Bull Creek tidal channel. The re- 
mainder of Bull Island shows minimal 
transport. 

Bull Island is the largest of four 
islands which make up the Cape Romain 
National Wildlife Refuge. The impounded 
areas on the island are managed for 
waterfowl and provide excellent brackish 
water habitat for migrating waterfowl. 
Managed archery hunts to control the 
deer population are allowed in the fall. 
Nature trails crisscross the island. 
The area provides valuable nesting 
habitat for several species of birds 
as well as loggerhead turtles. The 
island is undeveloped, but some 15,000 
to 20,000 people tour the island each 
year (Warner and Strouss 1976). 



J. 



CAPERS ISLAND 



Capers Island is a barrier island 
located in Charleston County, South 
Carolina, between Bull Island to the 
north and Dewees Island to the south. 
The island is separated from Bull 
Island by Price Inlet and from Dewees 
Island by Capers Inlet. A broad expanse 
of salt marsh isolates the island from 
the mainland. The island has a sandy 
beachfront that is 3.3 mi (5.3 km) long, 
a length of 3.4 mi (5.5 km), and 
a maximum width, including both high ground 
and marsh, of 1.5 mi (2.4 km). Capers 
Island has 850 acres (344 ha) of high 
ground, 1,090 acres (441 ha) of unmodified 
salt marsh, 50 acres (20 ha) of tidal 
creeks, and 110 acres (45 ha) of fresh 
and brackish water impoundments (South 
Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources 
Department 1975b). 

Capers Island is a Holocene barrier 
island with a maritime forest community. 
The island consists of an open sandy 
beach zone facing the Atlantic Ocean to 
the east and a series of parallel maritime 
forest beach ridges separated by low areas 
of brackish water marsh, ponds, and tidal 
creeks. Elevations on the island range 
from sea level to 15 ft (4.6 m) at the 
top of the natural beach ridges. The 
major components of the maritime forest 
are live oak, loblolly pine, wax myrtle, 
cabbage palmetto, southern red cedar, 
and hollies. Extensive areas of salt 
marsh are present on the western side of 
the island. The typically polyhaline 
saltmarsh areas are dominated by smooth 
cordgrass in the low marsh areas, with 
less abundant species such as saltmeadow 
cordgrass, glassworts, sea ox-eye, black 
needlerush, and marsh elder occurring in 
the high marsh areas. These marshlands 



145 



are unpolluted, highly productive, 
relatively isolated, and unaltered by 
man. 

Capers Island is currently eroding 
along most of its front beach. Erosion 
is particularly severe at the southeast 
end of the island, where the forest 
cover has been undermined and a low bluff 
exists. There is evidence that erosion 
has been occurring since 1875. Inter- 
pretation of scales, sequential aerial 
photography, and historic coastal charts 
indicates an approximate erosion rate 
of 15 ft/yr (4.6 m/yr) over the past 
107 years. During the period from 
1963 to 1973, there was an encroachment 
of approximately 200 ft (61 m) by the sea 
on the front beach. The only period 
of significant deposition occurred between 
1956 and 1975. The bulk of this deposi- 
tion was located at the northeast end of 
Capers Island adjacent to Price Inlet 
(South Carolina Wildlife and Marine 
Resources Department 1975b). Nineteenth- 
and twentieth-century shorelines from 
topographic maps prepared by the U.S. 
Coast and Geodetic Survey and the U.S. 
Geological Survey for Capers Island are 
presented on Atlas plate 25. 

The exact history of Capers Island 
has been lost, but it was one of several 
sea islands given as grants by the King 
of England to the colonists. Tradition- 
ally, the island was under cultivation 
in the eighteenth century when sea island 
cotton and indigo were the major crops. 
The island was operated as a farming 
entity until the boll weevil killed the 
sea island cotton industry, prior to 
World War I. The island was named in 
honor of the Capers family, an early 
colonial family that played a significant 
role in the development of the State and 
the nation. 

Capers Island was purchased by the 
State of South Carolina in 1974 as a 
natural area and wildlife refuge. The 
island is unusual because of its diverse 
flora and fauna. The South Carolina 
Wildlife and Marine Resources Department 
is directly responsible for the management 
of this island. Current usage and 
management are directed towards main- 
taining a natural habitat for marine 
life, waterfowl, shorebirds, and other 
native vertebrates including sea turtles. 
To perpetuate the natural character of 
the island, Capers Island has been 
approved for inclusion into the South 
Carolina Heritage Trust as a Heritage 
Preserve. 



K. 



DEWEES ISLAND 



Dewees Island is a barrier island 
located in Charleston County, South 
Carolina, between Capers Island to the 
northeast and the Isle of Palms to the 



southwest. The island is separated from 
Capers Island by Capers Inlet and from the 
Isle of Palms by Dewees Inlet. It is 
separated from the mainland by a broad 
expanse of salt marsh and Bullyard Sound. 
The island has a sandy beachfront along its 
entire length of 2.2 mi (3.5 km), and a 
maximum width, including both high 
ground and marsh, of 1.4 mi (2.3 km). 
Dewees Island contains 940 acres (380 
ha), of which 290 acres (117 ha) are 
high land and 650 acres (263 ha) are 
marsh. 

Dewees Island is a Holocene beach 
ridge island with a maritime forest 
community in undisturbed areas. Eleva- 
tions on the island range from sea level 
to 25 ft (7.6 m) at the top of the beach 
ridges. The maritime forest consists 
of live oak, loblolly pine, wax myrtle, 
cabbage palmetto, southern red cedar, 
and hollies. The polyhaline salt marsh 
is dominated by smooth cordgrass, with 
less abundant species such as black 
needlerush, sea ox-eye, saltmeadow 
cordgrass, glassworts, and salt grass 
also occurring. 

Dewees Island is a relatively stable 
island with an accreting beach (Warner 
and Strouss 1976). The northern portion 
of Dewees Island is suffering from erosion 
(Stapor and Murali 1978). Littoral 
transport predictions by Stapor and 
Murali (1978) show littoral drift at a 
rate of 10,000 to 20,000 m 3 /yr (13,079 
to 26,158 yd /yr) to the northwest. 

Dewees Island is owned by the 
Citizens and Southern National Bank of 
South Carolina. Plans to develop the 
island have been made and some pre- 
liminary work has been started on the 
island. To date, this island has been 
slightly altered with some 5 acres (2 ha) 
of land being developed and some 296 
acres (120 ha) of marsh impounded. 
Development of Dewees Island may be 
slowed by a lack of access to the island 
since there is no bridge across Dewees 
Inlet. The State's purchase of Capers 
included an easement preventing develop- 
ment of the northern side of Dewees and 
limiting construction to 125 single family 
units (Warner and Strouss 1976). The 
island was appraised at $1,860,000 as of 
November 1974 (Warner and Strouss 1976). 

L. ISLE OF PALMS 

Isle of Palms is a barrier island 
located in Charleston County, South 
Carolina, between Dewees Island to 
the north and Sullivans Island to the 
south. The island is separated from 
Dewees Island by Dewees Inlet and from 
Sullivans Island by Breach Inlet. A 
broad expanse of saltmarsh separates 
the island from the mainland. The 
island has a sandy beachfront that is 



146 



6.2 mi (10 km) long, a length of 6.3 mi 
(10.1 km), and a maximum width, including 
both high ground and marsh, of 0.9 mi 
(1.4 km). There are 1,700 acres (688 
ha) of high land on the island of which 
nearly 1,300 acres (526 ha) are developed. 
Approximately 520 acres (210 ha) of 
marsh are located on the back side of 
the island. 

The Isle of Palms is a Holocene 
beach ridge island with a remnant mari- 
time forest community. Elevations on 
the island range from sea level to 45 ft 
(14 m) at the top of the natural beach 
ridges. The maritime forest community 
consists of live oak, loblolly pine, 
wax myrtle, cabbage palmetto, and hollies. 
The typically polyhaline salt marsh is 
dominated by smooth cordgrass, with less 
abundant species such as saltmeadow 
cordgrass, glassworts, black needlerush, 
sea ox-eye, and salt grass also occurring. 

The northern half of the Isle of 
Palms is very unstable with some areas 
having 500 to 600 ft (152 to 183 m) of 
erosion between 1958 and 1968. Groins 
which were placed in the 1960 's have had 
somewhat of a stabilizing effect. The 
southern end of the island has shown 
long-term deposition and has formed a 
"large accretional recurved spit" 
(Stephen et al. 1975). 

Two-thirds of the Isle of Palms is 
fully developed, while the final one- 
third of the island is presently under- 
going development as the Isle of Palms 
Beach and Racquet Club. As of 1975, there 
were 4,000 permanent residents and 
approximately 10,000 visitors annually 
(Warner and Strouss 1976). The Isle of 
Palms acts as a suburb of Charleston and 
is a tourist attraction. Limited parking 
and beach access for Charleston residents 
and tourists are major issues on the 
island. In 1975, lots 95 ft by 175 ft 
(29 m by 53 m) were $65,000 on the ocean 
front, $33,000 on the sound front, and 
$12,000 in the interior of the island 
(Warner and Strouss 1976). 



M. 



SULLIVANS ISLAND 



Sullivans Island is a barrier island 
located in Charleston County, South 
Carolina, between the Isle of Palms to the 
north and Morris Island to the South. The 
island is separated from the Isle of Palms 
by Breach Inlet and from Morris Island 
by the Charleston Harbor Entrance. A 
broad expanse of marsh separates the 
island from the mainland. The island 
has a sandy beachfront that is 3.0 mi 
(4.8 km) long, a length of 3.5 mi (5.6 
km), and a maximum width, including 
both high ground and marsh, of 1.0 mi 
(1.6 km). There are 830 acres (336 ha) 
of high land on the island of which 809 
acres (327 ha) are totally developed. 



Approximately 480 acres (194 ha) of marsh 
are located on the landward side of the 
island. 

Sullivans Island is a Holocene beach 
ridge island with a remnant maritime 
forest community. Elevations on the 
island range from sea level to 15 ft 
(4.6 m) at the top of the natural beach 
ridges. The remnant maritime forest 
consists of live oak, loblolly pine, wax 
myrtle, cabbage palmetto, southern red 
cedar, and hollies. The typically 
polyhaline salt marsh is dominated by 
smooth cordgrass , with less abundant 
species such as black needlerush, 
saltmeadow cordgrass, glassworts, and 
salt grass also occurring. The water 
quality in the surrounding creeks is 
suitable for crabbing and commercial 
fishing. Shellfish grounds that are 
adjacent to Charleston Harbor are closed 
due to the degraded water quality. 

Sullivans Island has experienced 
net deposition since 1849, except for 
1,500 ft (0.5 km) of beach immediately 
east of Ft. Moultrie, which has been the 
site of long-term erosion. Stapor and 
Murali (1978) demonstrated that the area 
inside or west of the submerged north 
jetty off Sullivans Island experiences a 
net deposition rate of approximately 
30,000 m /yr (39,237 yd /yr). Flood tidal 
currents sweeping west into Charleston 
Harbor are responsible for this deposition 
(Stapor and Murali 1978). 

Sullivans Island is heavily developed 
as a suburb of Charleston. Ft. Moultrie, 
a portion of Ft. Sumter National Monument, 
has been restored and is a major tourist 
attraction. Lack of parking areas and 
limited access to the beach are current 
issues on the island. Land assessments 
are not readily available. 

N. MORRIS ISLAND 

Morris Island is a marsh island 
located in Charleston County, South 
Carolina, between Sullivans Island to 
the northeast and Folly Island to the 
southwest. The island is separated from 
Sullivans Island by the Charleston Harbor 
Entrance and from Folly Island by Light- 
house Creek and Lighthouse Inlet. A broad 
expanse of marsh separates Morris Island 
from James Island. The island has a 
sandy beachfront that is 3.5 mi (6.5 km) 
long, a length of 3.4 mi (5.5 km), 
and a maximum width of 1.6 mi (2.6 km), 
including both high ground and marsh. 
There are 120 acres (49 ha) of high land 
and 1,390 acres (563 ha) of salt marsh. 
Approximately 640 acres (259 ha) are used 
by the Corps of Engineers as a dredge 
spoil area for Charleston Harbor (Warner 
and Strouss 1976). 



147 



Morris Island is a Holocene marsh 
island with a maritime scrub shrub thicket 
in the beach ridge areas. Elevations on 
the island range from sea level to 10 ft 
(3.0 m) at the top of the highest ridge. 
The major components of the maritime scrub 
shrub thicket are live oak, loblolly pine, 
wax myrtle, and several types of holly. 
The surrounding salt marsh is of varying 
salinity, with smooth cordgrass dominating 
in the low marsh areas. Less abundant 
species such as saltmeadow cordgrass, 
glassworts, sea ox-eye, black needlerush, 
and salt grass occur in the high marsh 
areas . 

Erosion of the front beach is severe. 
Since 1939, over 1,600 ft (488 m) of 
shoreline at the southern end of the 
island have been lost, averaging over 
45 ft/yr (13.7 m/yr) (Stephen et al. 
1975). Nineteenth- and twentieth-century 
shorelines from topographic maps prepared 
by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey 
and the U.S. Geological Survey for Morris 
Island are presented on Atlas plate 25. 

The State of South Carolina owns all 
of Morris Island except for 111 acres 
(45 ha) of high land. The latter are 
privately held; there are no plans for 
development at this time. 

Morris Island is the site of one of 
the oldest lighthouses in South Carolina. 
The existing tower was built in 1876 to 
replace the damaged Morris Island or 
Charleston Lighthouse. Through the years, 
severe erosion has isolated the tower 
about 440 yd (400 m) offshore (Griffin 
1977). 

0. JAMES ISLAND 

James Island is a sea island located 
in Charleston County, South Carolina, 
between Charleston, South Carolina, to 
the north and Johns Island to the south. 
The island is separated from Folly 
Island by the Folly River and from the 
mainland by Wappoo Creek (AIWW). It 
is separated from Charleston by Charleston 
Harbor and from Johns Island by the Stono 
River. The island is 7 mi (11.3 km) long 
and has a maximum width of 7 mi (11.3 km). 
There are 11,000 acres (4,452 ha) of 
high land and some 4,800 acres (1,943 
ha) of marsh on the island. 

James Island is a Pleistocene island 
with a remnant coastal pine-mixed hardwood 
forest. The major components of the 
coastal pine-mixed hardwood forest are 
live oak, water oak, laurel oak, loblolly 
pine, wax myrtle, hollies, hackberry, 
sweet gum, hickories, southern magnolia, 
pecan, black cherry, and cherry laurel. 

The areas of salt marsh in the 
vicinity of James Island are typically 
polyhaline. The marsh is dominated by 



smooth cordgrass in the low marsh areas, 
with less abundant species such as salt- 
meadow cordgrass, glassworts, black 
needlerush, sea ox-eye, and marsh elder 
occurring in the high marsh areas. 

Since James Island has no beachfront, 
erosion is a relatively minor problem; 
however, some localized erosion is 
occurring along creek banks and adjacent 
to Charleston Harbor and the Atlantic 
Intracoastal Waterway. 

Parts of James Island are now in the 
City of Charleston and are rapidly 
developing. The island was a rural farm- 
ing area until about 10 years ago, when 
an influx of new residents moved to the 
island. The trend can be directly attri- 
buted to expanded port facilities and 
military bases in Charleston. 

Development of James Island has been 
largely unplanned; subsequently, water 
and sewer problems exist. Some sub- 
divisions on the island have individual 
sewage treatment facilities (oxidation 
ponds) and many homes are still using 
septic tanks. Traffic problems also 
exist on the island and a new bridge is 
proposed into downtown Charleston. The 
bridge, however, has been a source of 
controversy and has had to be replanned 
several times. James Island has a public 
service district form of government at 
the present time, except for those areas 
that have been annexed into the City of 
Charleston. 

P. FOLLY ISLAND 

Folly Island is a barrier island 
located in Charleston County, South 
Carolina, between Morris Island to the 
north and Kiawah Island to the south. 
The island is separated from Morris 
Island by Lighthouse Inlet and from 
Kiawah by Stono Inlet. A band of salt 
marsh and the Folly River separate the 
island from James Island and the main- 
land. The island has a sandy beachfront 
along its entire length of 6.0 mi (9.7 
km), and a maximum width of 0.5 mi (0.8 
km), including both high ground and 
marsh. There are 710 acres (287 ha) of 
high land on the island and 690 acres 
(279 ha) of salt marsh. Five hundred 
acres (202 ha) of land are developed on 
the island (Warner and Strouss 1976). 

Folly Island is a Holocene island 
with a series of parallel dune ridges. 
Elevations on the island range from sea 
level to 20 ft (6.1 m) at the top 
of the natural dune ridge. The remnant 
maritime forest consists of live oak, 
slash pine, wax myrtle, cabbage palmetto, 
southern red cedar, and hollies. The 
typically polyhaline salt marsh is 
dominated by smooth cordgrass, with less 
abundant species such as black needlerush, 



148 



sea ox-eye, saltmeadow cordgrass, glass- 
worts, and salt grass also occurring. 



Folly Beach is 
along its entire le 
constructed in an e 
shoreline; however, 
limited. Since Mor 
north is undergoing 
especially on its s 
leaving the norther 
probably is deposit 
Inlet shoal rather 
(Stapor and Murali 



experiencing erosion 
ngth. Groins have been 
ffort to stabilize the 

success has been 
ris Island to the 

extreme erosion, 
outhern tip, the sand 
n end of Folly Island 
ed on the Lighthouse 
than Morris Island 
1978). 



Folly Island is almost completely 
developed. Present zoning regulations 
limit further large scale commercial 
development of the island, but allow the 
construction of single family residential 
neighborhoods. Restricted parking areas 
limit public access to the beach. Local 
residents have asked for Federal aid to 
fight the severe erosion on the beach, but 
have met with opposition due to limited 
public access and parking areas on the 
beach. Sample lots in 1975 on the ocean 
front were valued at $14,000 to $22,000, 
on the island side at $19,000 to $20,000, 
and on the interior at $5,000 to $12,000 
(Warner and Strouss 1976). 

Q. KIAWAH ISLAND 

Kiawah Island is a barrier island 
located in Charleston County, South 
Carolina, between Folly Island to the 
northeast and Seabrook Island to the 
southwest. The island is separated from 
Folly Island by Stono Inlet and from 
Seabrook Island by the Kiawah River. It 
is separated from Johns Island to the 
north by an expanse of marsh and the 
Kiawah River. The island has a sandy 
beachfront that is 9.0 mi (14.5 km) long, 
a length of 9.1 mi (14.7 km), and a maxi- 
mum width of 2.0 mi (3.2 km), including 
both high ground and marsh. There are 
3,300 acres (1,336 ha) of high land and 
3,730 acres (1,510 ha) of salt marsh, of 
which 50 high land acres (20 ha) are 
developed. The remainder of the area is 
in an undeveloped state (Warner and 
Strouss 1976). 

Kiawah Island is a Holocene beach 
ridge island with a maritime forest 
modified by agricultural activities and 
residential development. There are 
several fresh and brackish water im- 
poundments which were constructed by 
isolating saltmarsh sloughs with earthen 
dikes. Elevations on the island range 
from sea level to 25 ft (7.6 m). The 
major components of the maritime forest 
are live oak, loblolly pine, wax myrtle, 
cabbage palmetto, and hollies. Vegetation 
within the impoundments consists of a 
variety of fresh and brackish water 
species including widgeon grass, duckweed, 
cattails, saw grass, bulrushes, giant 
cordgrass, smooth cordgrass, sea ox-eye, 



and black needlerush. The surrounding 
salt marsh is of varying salinity. The 
marsh is dominated by smooth cordgrass 
in the low marsh areas, with less abundant 
species such as saltmeadow cordgrass, 
glassworts, sea ox-eye, black needlerush, 
and salt grass occurring in the high 
marsh areas. 

Ki a wah Island, unlike most barrier 
islands in South Carolina, is prograding 
with a gradual seaward growth. The island 
has a relatively stable shoreline and is 
generally free of erosion with the 
exception of one or two areas (Hayes 1977). 
The northeastern end of Kiawah accreted 
approximately 4,000 ft (1,219 m) during 
the period from 1890 to 1940 (Stephen et 
al. 1975). This accretion is thought 
to be the product of sediments derived 
from Morris Island and Folly Beach. 
Beginning in the 1930's, the beach 
adjacent to Stono Inlet began to erode and 
has continued to erode at an average rate 
of 55 ft/yr (16.8 m/yr). Approximately 
1900 ft (579 m) of sediment have eroded 
in this area, causing a general straighten- 
ing of the beach face (Stephen et al . 
1975). The rest of Kiawah Island is 
relatively stable with accretion rates 
of 400 to 2,000 ft (122 to 610 m) 
between 1890 and 1940 (Stephen et al. 
1975). 

Kiawah Island is owned by Kiawah 
Island Company, a subsidiary of Kiawah 
Investment Company. A large resort area 
is being developed which will have up to 
7,000 residential units. The first phase 
of this development, a 150-unit hotel- 
resort complex, opened in the summer of 
1976. High land acreage on Kiawah Island 
was assessed at $l,686/acre and marsh- 
lands at $20/acre in 1970. The entire 
island was assessed at $5,742,720 in 1970 
(Warner and Strouss 1976). 

R. SEABROOK ISLAND 

Seabrook Island is a barrier island 
located in Charleston County, South 
Carolina, between Kiawah Island to the 
north and Botany Bay Island to the south. 
The island is separated from Kiawah 
Island by Captain Sams Inlet and the 
Kiawah River, and from Botany Island by 
the North Edisto River. A broad expanse 
of marsh and Bohicket Creek separate the 
island from Johns Island. There are 
2,610 acres (1,056 ha) of high land and 
2,710 acres (1,097 ha) of marsh on 
Seabrook Island. About 1,000 acres 
(405 ha) of land have been developed on 
Seabrook Island. The island has a sandy 
beachfront that is 2.5 mi (4.0 km) long, 
a length of 3.5 mi (5.6 km), and a maxi- 
mum width of 2.8 mi (4.8 km), including 
both high ground and marsh. 

Seabrook Island is a Holocene beach 
ridge island, with a maritime forest com- 
munity in undisturbed areas. Elevations 



149 



on the island range from sea level 
to 27 ft (8.2 m) at the top of the natural 
beach ridges. The maritime forest 
community consists of live oak, slash 
pine, loblolly pine, wax myrtle, cabbage 
palmetto, southern red cedar, and hollies. 
The surrounding salt marsh is typically 
polyhaline with smooth cordgrass domi- 
nating. Less abundant species such as 
black needlerush, sea ox-eye, glassworts, 
and salt grass also occur. 

Historically, the Seabrook Island 
shoreline has been accreting while that 
portion of Kiawah Island to the north 
predicted to furnish sand deposited on 
Seabrook has not eroded (Stapor and 
Murali 1978). Tidal currents active 
adjacent to the North Edisto Inlet may be 
complicating the situation. The presence 
of extensive parallel beach dunes in this 
stretch of the coast may suggest "extra" 
sand coming ashore (Stapor and Murali 
1978). Sand transport toward Seabrook is 
well documented by southwest migration 
of the spit attached to Kiawah Island, 
which separates the Kiawah River from the 
Atlantic Ocean (Stapor and Murali 1978). 

Seabrook Island is owned by three 
groups: the Episcopal Church, the Sea- 
brook Island Development Company, and the 
private landowners who purchased their 
land from the development company. 
Seabrook was originally totally owned 
by the Episcopal Church, which maintained 
Camp St. Christopher as a summer camp. 
Taxes and a desire to upgrade the camp 
forced the Church to sell a large portion 
of the island to the Seabrook Island 
Development Company. The development 
company has plans to completely develop 
their portion of the island. The camp's 
land will remain in its near natural 
condition. One-half acre (0.2 ha) lots 
in the development sold for $60,000 on 
the ocean front, $30,000 on the sound, 
and $12,500 in the interior in 1975 
(Warner and Strouss 1976). 



S. 



DEVEAUX BANK 



Deveaux Bank is a low-lying sand bar 
island located in Charleston County, South 
Carolina, between Seabrook Island to the 
north and Botany Eay Island to the south. 
It is located at the mouth of the North 
Edisto River, which separates it from both 
Seabrook Island and Botany Bay Island. Ap 
of March 1978, the island was 3,200 ft 
(975 m) long by 1,100 ft (335 m) wide 
(Stark 1978). 

Deveaux Bank is a Holocene sand bar 
island with a patchy distribution of salt 
marsh and scrub shrub vegetation. The 
major components of the vegetative 
community are panic grass, dropseed, salt- 
neadow cordgrass, dog fennel, golden 
aster, beach elder, sea myrtle, glass- 
worts, smooth cordgrass, and sea purslane. 



Deveaux Bank is currently undergoing 
tremendous erosion. During the period from 
March to May 1978, Deveaux Bank lost 
350 ft (107 m) from the southeast end of 
the island (Stark 1978). Nineteenth- and 
twentieth-century shorelines from topo- 
graphic maps prepared by the U.S. Coast 
and Geodetic Survey and the U.S. Geologi- 
cal Survey for Deveaux Bank and Botany Bay 
Island are presented on Atlas plate 25. 

Deveaux Bank, also known as the 
Alexander Sprunt Jr. Wildlife Refuge and 
Sanctuary, is managed by the National 
Audubon Society under direction and 
supervision of the South Carolina Wild- 
life and Marine Resources Department. 
The area is extremely important as a 
rookery for the endangered brown pelican, 
as well as numerous other species of 
shorebirds. 



T. 



BOTANY BAY ISLAND 



Botany Bay Island is a barrier island 
located in Charleston County, South 
Carolina, between Seabrook Island to the 
north and Edingsville Beach to the south. 
The island is separated from Seabrook 
Island by the North Edisto River and from 
Edingsville Beach by South Creek. A 
narrow band of marsh and South Creek 
separate the island from Edisto Island. 
Seaward of Botany Bay Island is a low 
sandbar, Deveaux Bank. There are 260 
acres (105 ha) of high land and 212 acres 
(86 ha) of marsh on the island (Warner and 
Strouss 1976). The island has a sandy 
beachfront that is 1.0 mi (1.6 km) long, a 
length of 1.2 mi (1.9 km), and a maximum 
width, including both high ground and 
marsh, of 0.7 mi (1.1 km). 

Botany Bay Island is a Holocene beach 
ridge island with a maritime forest 
community in undisturbed areas. Ele- 
vations on the island range from sea level 
to 5 ft (1.5 m) at the top of the natural 
beach ridges. The maritime forest 
consists of live oak, slash pine, loblolly 
pine, wax myrtle, cabbage palmetto, 
southern red cedar, and hollies. The 
typically polyhaline salt marsh is 
dominated by smooth cordgrass, with less 
abundant species such as black needlerush, 
sea ox-eye, saltmeadow cordgrass, glass- 
worts, and salt grass also occurring. 

The overall character of this section 
of shoreline has been one of continued 
erosion (Stephen et al. 1975). The 
beaches consist of sand and reworked shell 
material eroded from oyster shell beds 
exposed on the beach face as the shore- 
line transgresses over tidal marsh. Storm 
waves over the low berra produced a 
20 - 50 m (66 - 164 ft) wide washover 
terrace. Marsh clays outcrop along the 
beach face (Stephen et al . 1975). 



150 



Botany Bay Island is a small island 
with an extremely high rate of erosion- 
It is owned by Botany Bay Investors, 
Atlanta, Georgia, and individual lot 
owners. The investment group originally 
planned a 75 unit retreat, with emphasis 
on protection of the natural system. 
Tight money and a depression in building 
construction has brought on financial 
difficulties within the investment group. 
One house was built and a small marina 
was completed before development was 
stopped by the owners. At the present 
time, there is no development being 
carried out on the island. In 1974, 
2-acre lots sold for $100,000 on the ocean 
front, $80,000 on the sound front, and 
$30,000 on the interior. The only access 
to the island is by an unscheduled ferry 
or by small boat (Warner and Strouss 
1976). 

U. EDISTO BEACH 

Edisto Beach is the barrier island 
portion of Edisto Island located in 
Colleton County, South Carolina. Edisto 
Island proper is a sea island located 
immediately shoreward of Edisto Beach 
and is in Charleston County. The barrier 
island is separated from the main body 
of Edisto Island by Big Bay Creek, Scott 
Creek, Jeremy Creek, and associated salt 
marsh. Edisto Beach has a sandy beachfront 
that is 4.0 mi (6.4 km) long, a length 
of 4.4 mi (7.1 km), and a maximum width, 
including both high ground and marsh, of 
1.5 mi (2.4 km). There are 920 acres 
(372 ha) of high land and 464 acres (188 ha) 
of salt marsh. 

Edisto Beach is a Holocene island 
with a maritime forest and scrub shrub 
community. Elevations on the island range 
from sea level to 30 ft (9.1 m). The 
major components of the maritime forest 
are live oak, slash pine, loblolly pine, 
wax myrtle, cabbage palmetto, southern 
red cedar, and hollies. The surrounding 
salt marsh is of varying salinity and is 
dominated by smooth cordgrass in the low 
marsh areas. Less abundant species such 
as saltmeadow cordgrass, glassworts, sea 
ox-eye, black needlerush, and salt grass 
occur in the high marsh areas. 

Edisto Beach is currently undergoing 
erosion at its northern and southern ends. 
Minor erosion has taken place on the 
northern end of the beach next to Jeremy 
Inlet, and significant erosion is in 
progress at the southern tip of the beach 
(Stephen et al. 1975). The remainder of 
the beach appears to have beer undergoing 
accretion for the past 120 years (Stapor 
and Murali 1978). 

Edisto Beach State Park occupies 
approximately one-third of Edisto Beach 
at the northern end. The west end of 
the island is currently being developed 



as a resort area by the Oristo Development 
Corporation. The rest of the island is 
privately owned by small landowners. The 
number of permanent residents is small 
(approximately 100); however, over 189,000 
people visit the beach each year (Warner 
and Strouss 1976). 

V. PINE ISLAND 

Pine Island is a marsh island located 
in Colleton County, South Carolina, be- 
tween Edisto Island to the north and Otter 
Island to the south. The island is 
separated from Edisto Island by the South 
Edisto River and from Otter Island by 
Fish Creek. A broad expanse of marsh and 
Pine Creek separate the island from the 
mainland. The island has a sandy beach- 
front that is 1.6 mi (2.6 km) long, a 
length of 1.7 mi (2.7 km), and a maximum 
width, including both high ground and 
marsh, of 1.0 mi (1.6 km). There are 
250 acres (101 ha) of high land on the 
island and 690 acres (279 ha) of marsh 
(Warner and Strouss 1976). 

Pine Island is a Holocene marsh 
island with a maritime forest and scrub 
shrub community surrounded by extensive 
tidal salt marsh. Elevations on the 
island range from sea level to 10 ft 
(3.0 m) at the top of the beach ridges. 
The major components of the maritime 
forest are live oak, loblolly pine, dwarf 
palmetto, wax myrtle, cabbage palmetto, 
and hollies. Dominant vegetation in the 
scrub shrub community consists of wax 
myrtle, cabbage palmetto, saw palmetto, 
southern red cedar, and hollies. The 
surrounding salt marsh is typically 
polyhaline, dominated by smooth cordgrass. 
Less abundant species such as black 
needlerush, sea ox-eye, saltmeadow cord- 
grass, glassworts, and salt grass also 
occur. Sand transport data on Pine 
Island are not available. 

Pine Island is presently owned by 
four persons who have no plans to develop 
the area (Warner and Strouss 1976). 



W. 



OTTER ISLAND 



Otter Island is a marsh island 
located in Colleton County, South 
Carolina, between Pine Island to the 
northeast and St. Helena Sound to the 
southwest. The island is separated from 
Pine Island by Fish Creek and Jefford 
Creek. Otter Island has a sandy beach- 
front that is 1.8 mi (2.9 km) long, a 
length of 2.0 mi (3.2 km), and a maximum 
width of 1.2 mi (1.9 km), including 
both high ground and marsh. There are 40 
acres (16.2 ha) of high land and 2,210 
acres (895 ha) of salt marsh (Warner and 
Strouss 1976). 

Otter Island is a Holocene marsh 
island with a maritime forest and scrub 



151 



shrub community in the beach ridge areas. 
Elevations on the island range from sea 
level to 10 ft (3.0 m). The maritime 
forest consists of live oak, loblolly 
pine, wax myrtle, cabbage palmetto, saw 
palmetto, and hollies. The dominant 
vegetation in the scrub shrub community 
consists of wax myrtle, cabbage palmetto, 
yaupon holly, and southern red cedar. 
The surrounding salt marsh is of varying 
salinity with smooth cordgrass dominating 
in the low marsh areas. Less abundant 
species such as saltmeadow cordgrass, 
glassworts, salt grass, sea ox-eye, and 
black needlerush occur in the high marsh 
areas. 

The island is privately owned and 
there are no plans for development at 
this time (Warner and Strouss 1976). 

X. ST. HELENA ISLAND 



St. Helena 
located in Beau 
Carolina, betwe 
north and Hunti 
Pritchards Isla 
St. Phillips Is 
Island to the e 
by the Morgan R 
to the north an 
west. Many tid 
islands separat 
the surrounding 



Island is 
fort Count 
en Ladies 
ng Island, 
nd, Little 
land, and 
ast. The 
iver and S 
d the Beau 
al creeks 
e St. Hele 

islands 



a sea island 
y, South 
Island to the 
Fripp Island, 
Capers Island, 
Bay Point 
island is bounded 
t. Helena Sound 
fort River to the 
and small marsh 
na Island from 



The island is 13 mi (21 km) long by 
2.0 mi (3.2 km) wide. There are 21,053 
acres (8,520 ha) of high land and 13,125 
acres (5,312 ha) of marsh on the island. 
St. Helena Island is a Pleistocene island 
with a remnant coastal pine-mixed hard- 
wood forest. The major components of the 
coastal pine-mixed hardwood forest are live 
oak, water oak, laurel oak, loblolly pine, 
wax myrtle, hollies, hackberry, sweet gum, 
hickories, southern magnolia, pecan, black 
cherry, and cherry laurel. 

The areas of salt marsh in the 
vicinity of St. Helena Island are typi- 
cally polyhaline. The salt marsh is 
dominated by smooth cordgrass in the low 
marsh areas, with less abundant species 
such as saltmeadow cordgrass, glassworts, 
black needlerush, sea ox-eye, and marsh 
elder occurring in the high marsh areas. 

Since St. Helena Island has no beach- 
front, erosion is a relatively minor 
problem; however, some localized erosion 
is occurring along creekbanks. 

St. Helena Island is located near 
the City of Beaufort, but has remained a 
rural farming area. Beaufort's expansion 
has been mainly around the U.S. Marine 
Corps Air Station in Beaufort and near 
the U.S. Marine Recruit Training Base at 
Parris Island. St. Helena Island has 
escaped development thus far, but 



expansion from the City of Beaufort has 
spread to Ladies Island and will probably 
extend to St. Helena Island in the near 
future. Water quality in the creeks 
surrounding St. Helena Island is excellent 
and supports much of Beaufort's oyster 
fishery. 



Y. 



HUNTING ISLAND 



Hunting Island is a barrier island 
located in Beaufort County, South 
Carolina, between Harbor Island to the 
north and Fripp Island to the south. The 
island is separated from Harbor Island 
by Johnson Creek and from Fripp Island 
by Fripp Inlet. A narrow band of marsh 
and the Harbor River separate the island 
from St. Helena Island. There are 1,420 
acres (575 ha) of high land on the island 
and 270 acres (109 ha) of marsh. The 
island has a sandy beachfront that is 4.0 
mi (6.4 km) long, a length of 4.1 mi 
(6.6 km), and a maximum width of 1.1 mi 
(1.8 km), including both high ground and 
marsh. 

Hunting Island is a Holocene beach 
ridge island with a maritime forest 
community in undisturbed areas. Ele- 
vations on the island range from sea level 
to 20 ft (6.1 m) at the top of the natural 
beach ridges. The maritime forest 
consists of live oak, loblolly pine, wax 
myrtle, cabbage palmetto, saw palmetto, 
southern red cedar, and hollies. The 
surrounding salt marsh is typically 
polyhaline with smooth cordgrass domi- 
nating. Less abundant species such as 
black needlerush, sea ox-eye, saltmeadow 
cordgrass, glassworts, and salt grass 
also occur. 

Hunting Island has been the site of 
severe long-term erosion. The northerly 
portion of the island and nearshore 
bottoms are building, while the southerly 
60% of the island is undergoing active 
erosion (Berg and Essick 1972). The 
Array Corps of Engineers has initiated 
a beach nourishment project to maintain 
the eroding portion of the beach for 
recreational purposes. After the first 
nourishment, it was found that the 
erosion was much more severe than the 
original 250,000 yd 3 /yr (191,150 m /yr) 
prediction. It was also found that 
particle size of the sand on the beach 
was very small and thus the beach was 
very unstable. Analysis of the data has 
shown that the sediment characteristics 
of the beach and nearshore underwater 
bottom have changed little with the 
beach restoration and first nourishment 
from those that existed prior to the 
project. The data accumulated to date 
indicate that the annual nourishment - 
needs for Hunting Island is 470,000 yd 
(359,362 m ) of sand (Berg and Essick 1972), 



152 



Hunting Island is owned by the State 
of South Carolina and is used for medium 
to high density recreation. Management 
of the island is by the South Carolina 
Department of Parks, Recreation and 
Tourism. Development includes camping 
sites, beach houses, and nature trails. 
Osprey, alligators, and possibly bald 
eagles are found on the island (Warner 
and Strouss 1976) . 

Z. FRIPP ISLAND 

Fripp Island is a barrier island 
located in Beaufort County, South 
Carolina, between Hunting Island to the 
northeast and Pritchards Island to the 
southwest. The island is separated from 
Hunting Island by Fripp Inlet and from 
Pritchards Island by Skull Inlet. A 
broad expanse of water and salt marsh 
separates Fripp Island from St. Helena 
Island. There are 1,030 acres (417 ha) 
of high land and 840 acres (340 ha) of 
salt marsh. The island has a sandy 
beachfront that is 3.0 mi (4.8 km) long, 
a length of 3.3 mi (5.3 km), and a 
maximum width, including both high 
ground and marsh, of 1.4 mi (2.2 km). 

Fripp Island is a Holocene barrier 
island with a maritime forest community 
which has been modified by commercial and 
residential development. Elevations on 
the island range from sea level to 25 ft 
(7.6 m) at the top of the highest beach 
ridge. Major components of the maritime 
forest are live oak, loblolly pine, wax 
myrtle, cabbage palmetto, saw palmetto, 
southern red cedar, and hollies. The 
surrounding salt marsh is of high 
salinity, with smooth cordgrass pre- 
dominating in the low marsh areas and 
less abundant species such as saltmeadow 
cordgrass, glassworts, black needlerush, 
salt grass, and sea ox-eye occurring in 
the high marsh areas. 

Extensive shoaling in the area of 
Fripp Inlet on the northeastern end of 
Fripp Island causes a reversal in wave 
approach direction for the northeastern 
one-third of the island. This condition 
results in long-term accretion intermixed 
with periods of rapiH short-term erosion 
(Hubbard et al. '. '' 

Between 1939 and 1951, the headland 
of Fripp Inlet was eroded by approximately 
600 yd (548 m) and a hooked spit grew 
from the south side in a northeasterly 
direction. By 1953, the northern end of 
the hooked spit merged with the north- 
eastern end of Fripp Island and enclosed 
a lagoon behind it. By 1955, and after 
hurricane Hazel of October 1954, the ocean 
side of the new barrier was eroded and the 
material was washed over to fill the 
lagoun behind it (El-Ashry 1966). Erosion 
at the headland by concentrated wave 



action was accompanied by 120 yd (110 m) 
of accretion along the southeastern side 
of Fripp Island from 1951 to 1955 (El- 
Ashry 1966). 

Fripp Island is owned by Fripp Island 
Development Company. The island is 
currently being developed as a second 
home and retirement resort area. There 
are 300 people who live year around on 
the island and approximately 900 seasonal 
residents. As of 1975, a lot 100 ft by 
200 ft (31 m by 61 m) was valued at 
$55,000 on the ocean front, $25,000 on the 
backside, and $10,000 to $20,000 in the 
interior (Warner and Strouss 1976). 

AA. PRITCHARDS ISLAND 

Pritchards Island is a barrier island 
located in Beaufort County, South 
Carolina, between Fripp Island to the 
northeast and Little Capers Island to the 
southwest. The island is separated from 
Fripp Island by Skull Inlet and Skull 
Creek and from Little Capers Island by 
Pritchards Inlet. A broad expanse of salt 
marsh separates the island from St. Helena 
Island. There are 370 acres (150 ha) of 
high land and 1,150 acres (465 ha) of 
marsh on Pritchards Island. The island 
has a sandy beachfront along its entire 
length of 2.5 mi (4.0 km), and a maximum 
width, including both high ground and 
marsh, of 1.6 mi (2.6 km). 

Pritchards Island is a Holocene beach 
ridge island with a maritime forest 
community surrounded by a broad expanse 
of salt marsh. Elevations on the island 
range from sea level to 10 ft (3.0 m) at 
the top of the beach ridges. The remnant 
maritime forest consists of live oak, 
loblolly pine, wax myrtle, cabbage pal- 
metto, saw palmetto, southern red cedar, 
and hollies. The surrounding salt marsh 
is typically polyhaline. The marsh is 
dominated by smooth cordgrass, with less 
abundant species such as black needlerush, 
sea ox-eye, saltmeadow cordgrass, glass- 
worts, ana salt grass also occurring. 

Pritchards Island suffered consider- 
able erosion between 1859 and 1920 with 
a shoreline retreat of approximately 100 m 
(328 ft), but has not undergone signifi- 
cant erosion since 1920 (Hubbard et al. 
1977). 

Pritchards Island is almost totally 
undeveloped. To date, there are three 
houses on the island. The island was 
slated for development as a religious 
retreat for the leaders of the Protestant 
Churches of America, but financial prob- 
lems caused these plans to be scrapped and 
the island's future remains in doubt. In 
1974, the island was sold to Eugene Holly 
for $1,400,000, which averages $400 an 
acre for high land and marsh (Warner and 
Strouss 1976). 



153 



BB. LITTLE CAPERS ISLAND 

Little Capers Island is a marsh 
Island located In Beaufort County, South 
Carolina, between Pritchards Island to 
the northeast and Trenchards Inlet to 
the west. The island is separated from 
Pritchards Island by Pritchards Inlet. 
The island has a sandy beachfront along its 
entire length of 2.5 mi (4.0 km), and a 
maximum width, including both high ground 
and marsh, of 1.2 mi (1.9 km). There 
are 120 acres (A9 ha) of high land and 
680 acres (271 ha) of salt marsh. Ten 
acres (4.1 ha) of high land are developed, 
while the remaining 790 acres (320 ha) 
on the island are in an undeveloped 
state (Warner and Strouss 1976). 

Little Capers Island is a Holocene marsh 
island consisting of a series of washover 
dunes and isolated beach ridges surrounded 
by a large expanse of salt marsh. Domi- 
nant vegetation is a maritime scrub shrub 
community interspersed with a remnant 
maritime forest. Elevations on the island 
range from sea level to less than 10 ft 
(3.0 m) at the top of the beach ridges. 
The major components of the remnant mari- 
time forest and scrub shrub communities of 
the beach ridge areas are live oak, lob- 
lolly pine, wax myrtle, southern red 
cedar, cabbage palmetto, saw palmetto, 
and yaupon holly. The surrounding salt 
marsh is typically polyhaline. Smooth 
cordgrass dominates in the low marsh 
areas, while less abundant species such 
as saltmeadow cordgrass, glassworts, 
salt grass, sea ox-eye, and black 
needlerush occur in the high marsh 
areas. 

Due to the location of Fripp Island, 
St. Helena Sound, and Port Royal Sound, 
a complex pattern of wave refraction 
exists, which causes great variability 
in the sediment transport of the area. 
Little Capers Island is characterized by 
severe washover and extremely high erosion 
rates in excess of 29 m/yr (95 ft/yr) 
(Hubbard et al. 1977). 

Little Capers Island has approxi- 
mately 20 small lots on isolated high 
ground areas where summer cottages can 
be built. Only two or three small houses 
have been built, and they do not appear 
to be threatening the natural system 
(Warner and Strouss 1976). 

CC. ST. PHILLIPS ISLAND 

St. Phillips Island is a marsh island 
in Beaufort County, South Carolina, lo- 
cated between Trenchards Inlet to the 
northeast and Bay Point Island to the 
southwest. The island is separated from 
Bay Point Island by Morse Island Creek. 
A broad expanse of marsh separates the 



island from St. Helena Island. There 
are 1,230 acres (498 ha) of high land 
and 4,180 acres (1,692 ha) of marsh on the 
island. The island has a sandy beachfront 
that is 1.0 mi (1.6 km) long, a length 
of 6.0 mi (9.7 km), and a maximum width 
of 1.6 mi (2.6 km), including both 
high ground and marsh. 

St. Phillips Island is a Holocene 
marsh island consisting of a beach ridge 
and dune system backed by a maritime 
forest community. Elevations on the 
island range from sea level to 15 ft 
(4.6 m) at the top of the natural beach 
ridges. The major components of the 
remnant maritime forest are live oak, 
loblolly pine, wax myrtle, southern red 
cedar, cabbage palmetto, saw palmetto, 
and hollies. The surrounding salt marsh 
is typically polyhaline. Smooth cordgrass 
dominates in the low marsh areas, while 
less abundant species such as saltmeadow 
cordgrass, sea ox-eye, glassworts, salt 
grass, and black needlerush occur in the 
high marsh areas. 

In 1910 and earlier, St. Phillips 
and Bay Point islands were connected 
together as one island and known as 
Phillips Island. Morse Island Creek did 
not have an outlet to the Atlantic Ocean 
and was known then as Horse Island Creek 
(El-Ashry 1966). By 1919, erosion of the 
beach of St. Phillips Island facing the 
channel of Morse Island Creek resulted in 
the opening of the creek outlet, thus 
connecting Port Royal Sound with 
Trenchards Inlet and dividing the island 
in two (El-Ashry 1966). 

St. Phillips' southern shoreline 
has undergone much change since 1939, with 
periods of accretion followed by periods 
of erosion. The beach is presently under- 
going heavy erosion on the southern 
portion. The narrow dune system on 
St. Phillips Island plus the near sea- 
level elevation of the beach ridges makes 
the island highly susceptible to flooding, 
especially during storm tides. 

Of all the islands described in this 
report, St. Phillips has had less modifi- 
cation by man than the others. The 
ecosystem of the island remains pristine. 
Many various habitats are present on the 
island, from high salinity marshes to 
natural freshwater impoundments. The 
maritime forest has escaped lumbering 
and there are no cleared areas for 
agriculture. The ecotonal "edge effect" 
is evident on St. Phillips and probably 
is responsible for the abundance of 
plant and animal species on the island. 

Mr. Ted Turner bought the island for 
$2 million in 1979. At present, there 
are no plans to develop the island. 



154 



DD. 



BAY POINT ISLAND 



Bay Point Island is a marsh island 
located in Bea;i£ort County, South 
Carolina, between St. Phillips Island 
to the north and Port Royal Sound to the 
southwest. The island is separated from 
St. Phillips Island by Morse Island 
Creek. The island has a sandy beachfront 
that is 2.5 mi (4.0 km) long, a length 
of 2.6 mi (4.2 km), and a maximum 
width, including both high ground and 
marsh, of 0.5 mi (0.8 km). There are 450 
acres (182 ha) of undeveloped land, of 
which 235 acres (95 ha) are high land and 
215 acres (87 ha) are marsh (Warner and 
Strouss 1976). 

Bay Point Island is a Holocene marsh 
island consisting of a beach ridge and 
dune system backed by a maritime forest 
community. Elevations on the island range 
from sea level to 10 ft (3.0 m) at the top 
of the natural dune ridges. The major 
components of the remnant maritime forest 
are live oak, loblolly pine, wax myrtle, 
southern red cedar, cabbage palmetto, 
saw palmetto, and hollies. The sur- 
rounding salt marsh is typically 
polyhaline. Smooth cordgrass dominates 
in the low marsh areas, while less 
abundant species such as saltmeadow 
cordgrass, sea ox-eye, glassworts, salt 
grass, and black needlerush occur in the 
high marsh areas. 

Due to the location of Fripp Island, 
St. Helena Sound, and Port Royal Sound, 
a complex pattern of wave refraction 
exists which causes great variability in 
the sediment transport of the area. The 
overall trend for Bay Point Island is one 
of severe erosion, losing as much as 
10 m/yr (33 ft/yr) since 1951 (Hubbard et 
al. 1977). 

Bay Point Island is privately owned 
by the Anne McLeod Poulnot family, and 
there are no plans for development at 
this time (Warner and Strouss 1976). 

The southern tip of Bay Point was 
once the site of Fort Beauregard, an 
earthwork fort occupied by the Confederate 
forces during the Civil War. Fort Beaure- 
gard was attacked by Federal forces on 7 
November 1861, captured, and occupied 
until the end of the Civil War. Pre- 
liminary studies indicate that the 
site of the fort has succumbed to erosion 
and is now under water (W. J. Keith, 1979, 
South Carolina Marine Resources Division, 
Charleston, pers. comm.). 



EE. 



HILTON HEAD ISLAND 



Hilton Head Island is a sea island 
located in Beaufort County, South 
Carolina, between Port Royal Sound to the 
north and Daufuskie Island to the south. 
The island is separated from Daufuskie 



Island by Calibogue Sound. A narrow band 
of marsh and Skull Creek separate the 
island from the mainland. The island has 
a sandy beachfront along its entire 
length of 11.5 mi (18.5 km), and a maximum 
width, including both high ground and 
marsh, of 6.8 mi (10.9 km). There are 
19,460 acres (7,876 ha) of high land 
and 2,400 acres (971 ha) of marsh on the 
island. 

Hilton Head Island has a Pleistocene 
core with a Holocene beach ridge fringe. 
A maritime forest community modified by 
development is present on the island, 
along with many small freshwater de- 
pressions and bays located between remnant 
beach or dune ridges. Elevations on the 
island range from sea level to 21 ft 
(6.4 m) at the top of the highest natural 
beach ridges. The major components of the 
maritime forest community are live oak, 
loblolly pine, slash pine, wax myrtle, 
cabbage palmetto, saw palmetto, southern 
red cedar, and hollies. The forested 
freshwater depressions or bays are 
characterized by a predominance of red 
maple, swamp tupelo, sweet gum, red bay, 
sweet bay, cypresses, and various hollies. 
Emergent vegetation includes maidencanes, 
Virginia chain fern, sedges, and smart- 
weeds. The areas of salt marsh in the 
vicinity of Hilton Head are typically 
polyhaline. Smooth cordgrass dominates 
in the low marsh areas, while less 
abundant species such as saltmeadow 
cordgrass, glassworts, black needlerush, 
sea ox-eye, salt grass, and marsh elder 
occur in the high marsh areas. 

Between 1860 and 1970, a high rate of 
erosion, about 6 ft/yr (1.8 m/yr), was 
found to have occurred along the central 
portion of the shoreline (U.S. Army Corps 
of Engineers 1971). During the period 
from 1952 to 1970, the most serious 
problem areas were at the ends of the 
island, with the highest rate experienced 
at the north end of about 17 ft/yr (5.2 
m/yr). The annual rate of erosion for all 
eroding beaches on Hilton Head Island was 
estimated at 6.2 ft (1.9 m) (U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers 1971). 

Development of Hilton Head in 1956 
started the resort boom in coastal real 
estate, with hundreds of imitations along 
the coast today (Warner and Strouss 1976). 
A large portion of the maritime forest, 
dune system, and freshwater depressions has 
been altered and in some cases destroyed. 
The island has been extensively developed, 
with only some 6,000 undeveloped acres 
(2,428 ha) remaining (Warner and Strouss 
1976). 

Land along the ocean front is 
completely developed and none is available 
for sale. Lots of 2,000 ft (186 m ) 
on the mainland side are selling for 
$50,000 to $70,000; in the interior, for 



155 



$15,000 to $30,000; and on golf courses, 
for $35,000 to $50,000 (Warner and Strouss 
1976). 



FF. DAUFUSKIE ISLAND 

Daufuskie Island is 
located in Beaufort Coun 
Carolina, between Hilton 
the northeast and Turtle 
southwest. The island i 
Hilton Head Island by Ca 
from Turtle Island by th 
Cooper River, Ratnshorn C 
expanse of salt marsh se 
Island from the mainland 
a sandy beachfront that 
long, a length of 5.0 mi 
and a maximum width, inc 
ground and marsh, of 2.7 
There are 5,200 acres (2 
land and 950 acres (385 
A total of approximately 
of high land is develope 
Strouss 1976). 



a sea island 
ty, South 

Head Island to 

Island to the 
s separated from 
libogue Sound and 
e New River. The 
reek, and a broad 
parate Daufuskie 

The island has 
is 3.0 mi (4.8 km) 

(8.1 km), 
luding both high 

mi (4.3 km). 
,104 ha) of high 
ha) of salt marsh. 

160 acres (65 ha) 
d (Warner and 



Daufuskie Island is a Pleistocene 
island with a maritime forest community 
modified by agriculture. Several forested 
freshwater swales and bays are located 
between beach ridges. Elevations on the 
island range from sea level to 30 ft 
(9.1 m) at the top of the highest natural 
beach ridges. The major components of the 
remnant maritime forest are live oak, 
laurel oak, loblolly pine, slash pine, 
wax myrtle, cabbage palmetto, saw pal- 
metto, southern red cedar, and hollies. 
The forested freshwater swales or bays 
are characterized by a predominance of 
red maple, swamp tupelo, sweet gum, red 
bay, sweet bay, cypresses, and various 
hollies. 

The extensive areas of salt marsh in 
the vicinity of Daufuskie Island are typi- 
cally polyhaline. Smooth cordgrass dom- 
inates in the low marsh areas, while less 
abundant species such as saltmeadow cord- 
grass, glassworts, black needlerush, sea 
ox-eye, salt grass, and marsh elder occur 
in the high marsh areas. 

Water quality in the area surrounding 
Daufuskie Island is variable. Waters at 
the northern end of the island are of high 
quality, being suitable for the survival, 
propagation, and harvesting of shellfish. 
Waters at the southern end of the island, 
however, are of low quality, suitable only 
for recreational fishing and uses 
requiring waters of lesser quality. The 
slightly degraded water quality at the 
southern end of the island is believed to 
be attributable to pollution by the 
nearby Savannah River. 

The shoreline of Daufuskie Island 
exhibits relative stability compared to 
other shorelines in Beaufort County. The 



island's beach has undergone gradual 
retreat during the period 1942 - 1973, 
with the sand being removed by the actions 
of waves and tidal currents. Daufuskie' s 
relative position in Calibogue Sound 
permits gradual removal of beach sand with 
no apparent accretion (Hubbard et al. 
1977). 

At the peak of its prosperity during the 
early 1900's, the population of Daufuskie 
numbered greater than 700 persons. During 
this time farming, logging, and the oyster 
industry were the primary areas of 
endeavor. Current population fluctuates 
between 100 and 200 persons, with 
average incomes of a little more than 
$1,000 per year (Dickey 1974). These 
permanent residents of Daufuskie Island 
are descendants of slaves of the early 
plantation era and have recently been 
portrayed in the movie "Conrack." They 
own approximately 1,000 acres (405 ha) of 
land in small tracts in the interior of 
the island. Approximately 870 acres 
(352 ha) of ocean front property and 
almost all of the 2,700 acres (1,093 ha) 
fronting on Calibogue Sound are owned by 
land development companies (Warner and 
Strouss 1976). 

GG. TURTLE ISLAND 

Turtle Island is a marsh island 
located in Jasper County, South Carolina, 
between Daufuskie Island to the north 
and Oyster Bed Island and the Savannah 
River to the south. The island is sepa- 
rated from Daufuskie by the New River and 
from Oyster Bed Island by the Wright 
River. A broad expanse of marsh and tidal 
creeks separates the island from the main- 
land. There are 120 acres (49 ha) of 
high land and 1,600 acres (648 ha) of marsh 
on the island. The island has a sandy 
beachfront along its entire length of 
2.5 mi (4.0 km), and a total width, 
including both high ground and marsh, of 
1.9 mi (3.1 km). 

Turtle Island consists of a maritime 
forest and scrub shrub community on a 
narrow series of beach ridges surrounded 
by a high salinity salt marsh. Elevations 
on the island range from sea level to 
10 ft (3.0 n) at the top of the higher 
beach ridges. The maritime forest com- 
munity consists of live oak, slash pine, 
wax myrtle, southern red cedar, cabbage 
palmetto, saw palmetto, and hollies. 
The major components of the scrub shrub 
community are wax myrtle, cabbage palmetto, 
saw palmetto, and hollies. The surrounding 
salt marsh is dominated by smooth cord- 
grass, and less abundant species such as 
saltmeadow cordgrass, sea ox-eye, glass- 
worts, salt grass, and black needlerush 
also occur. 



156 



From 19 
(366 m) of b 
Island along 
southern end 
(183 m). B 
southern par 
by 150 yd (1 
beach sedime 
from the nor 
by littoral 



19 to 1939 

each were 
the north 
prograded 
tween 1941 
t of Turtl 
37 m). Th 
nt was tha 
th end and 
currents ( 



, about 400 yd 
eroded from Turtle 
ern end, while the 
by about 200 yd 
and 1955, the 
e Island prograded 
e main source of 
t which was eroded 
carried southward 
El-Ashry 1966). 



Turtle Island was donated to the 
State of South Carolina in December 1975 
by Union Camp Corporation. The State 
is now managing the island as a wildlife 
refuge. The area was donated to the 
State because it is low, isolated, and 
not worth developing (Warner and Strouss 
1976). Union Camp claimed a gift of 
$400,000 when the island was turned over 
to the State (Warner and Strouss 1976). 



III. GEORGIA ISLANDS 

A. TYBEE ISLAND 

Tybee Island is a barrier island 
located in Chatham County, Georgia between 
the Savannah River to the north and Little 
Tybee Island to the south. The island 
is separated from Little Tybee Island 
by Little Tybee Creek. The island has a 
sandy beachfront that is 3.4 mi (5.5 km) 
long, a length of 4.0 mi (6.4 km), and a 
maximum width, including both high ground 
and marsh, of 3.4 mi (5.5 km). There 
are 1,000 acres (405 ha) of developed 
high land of which the City of Savannah 
Beach occupies the major portion. The 
remaining 2,430 acres (983 ha), including 
1,930 acres (781 ha) of marsh and 500 
acres (202 ha) of high land, remain in 
an undeveloped state (Warner and Strouss 
1976). 

Tybee Island is a Holocene barrier 
island consisting of a beach ridge and 
dune system backed by a large expanse 
of salt marsh containing isolated high 
ground beach ridges. The dune system, 
along with the remnant maritime forest 
community associated with the beach ridge 
areas, has been considerably altered by 
development. Elevations on the island 
range from sea level to 18 ft (5.5 m) at 
the top of the high beach ridges. The 
major components of the remnant maritime 
forest are live oak, slash pine, wax 
myrtle, cabbage palmetto, saw palmetto, 
southern red cedar, and yaupon holly. 
The surrounding salt marsh is typically 
polyhaline. Smooth cordgrass dominates 
the low marsh areas, while le^s abundant 
species such as black needlerush, salt- 
meadow cordgrass, sea ox-eye, glassworts, 
and salt grass occur in the high marsh 
areas . 

The north end of Tybee Island has 
been eroding at an average rate of 



3.3 m/yr (10.8 ft/yr) since 1897, with a 
maximum erosion of 11.6 m/yr (38.1 ft/yr) 
during the 1939 - 1952 interval. A 
maximum shoreline retreat of 425 m 
(1,394 ft) was measured for this area 
between the years of 1897 and 1965 
(Oertel and Chamberlain 1975). The 
Corps of Engineers has conducted a 
$4 million beach restoration project 
that included a groin at the northern 
end of the beach. The southern end 
of Tybee Island appears to have advanced 
503 m (1,650 ft) between 1897 and 1971, 
and has undergone alternate intervals 
of advance and retreat (Oertel and 
Chamberlain 1975). 

Most of Tybee Island is owned by 
small landowners and is completely 
developed. Current zoning regulations 
permit high density development and it 
is predicted that the island will have 
a year-round population of 2,500 by 
1985. Savannah Beach represents the only 
accessible beach for the residents of 
Savannah. During the summer season, the 
population of Tybee Island is about 
10,000. In conjunction with the beach 
restoration project, the Corps of 
Engineers is requiring that the City of 
Savannah Beach provide improved parking 
and public access and a sand dune 
ordinance. It is hoped that the beach 
restoration project and associated 
improvements will boost the economy of 
the island (Warner and Strouss 1976). 



B. 



LITTLE TYBEE ISLAND 



Little Tybee Island is a marsh island 
in Chatham County, Georgia, between 
Tybee Island to the north and Wassaw 
Island to the south. The island is 
separated from Tybee Island by Tybee 
Creek and from Wassaw Island by Wassaw 
Sound. The interior side of the island 
is separated from Wilmington Island by a 
broad marsh and the Tybee River. The 
island has a sandy beachfront that is 5.0 
mi (8.1 km) long, a length of 5.6 mi 
(9.0 km), and a maximum width, including 
both high ground and marsh, of 4.0 mi 
(6.4 km). 

Little Tybee consists of a narrow 
washover beach backed by a large marsh 
that cintains isolated high ground islands 
(beach ridges). There are 6,780 acres 
(2,744 ha) of land on Little Tybee, of 
which 600 acres (243 ha) are high land and 
6,180 acres (2,501 ha) are marsh (Warner 
and Strouss 1976). 

Little Tybee Island consists of a 
group of Holocene beach ridges surrounded 
by a broad expanse of marsh. Elevations 
on the island range from sea level to 
10 ft (3.0 m) at the top of the beach 
ridges. The maritime forest consists of 
live oak, southern red cedar, slash 
pine, wax myrtle, cabbage palmetto, saw 



137 



palmetto, and hollies. The surrounding 
salt marsh is typically polyhaline. 
Smooth cordgrass dominates the low 
marsh, while less abundant species such 
as black needlerush, sea ox-eye, 
saltmeadow cordgrass, glassworts, and 
salt grass occur in the high marsh 
areas . 

Little Tybee Island has had an un- 
stable shoreline since 1897. Using both 
maps and aerial photography, Oertel and 
Chamberlain (1975) found that during the 
interval from 1897 to 1975, Little Tybee 
Island had an average rate of retreat 
of 0.7 m/yr (2.3 ft/yr). The zone of 
maximum retreat from 1897 'to 1975 is a 
375 m (1,230 ft) stretch just south of 
the inlet to Tybee Creek. The area to 
the south of this shows the greatest 
variabil ity, with a maximum advance of 
375 m (1,230 ft) and a maximum retreat 
of 220 m (722 ft). Periodic advances 
and retreats have also occurred at the 
southern end of the island. Between 
1897 and 1975, the southern end of the 
island had a net growth of 96 m (315 
ft), an average of 1.2 m/yr (3.9 ft/yr). 
However, more recent history (1965 - 
1975) revealed retreats up to 12 m/yr 
(39.4 ft/yr) (Oertel and Chamberlain 
1975). Williamson Island, the newly 
formed island at the mouth of Little 
Tybee Creek, apparently formed between 
1957 and 1960 and has doubled in acreage 
in the past 5 years (Warner and Strouss 
1976). Nineteenth- and twentieth-century 
shorelines from topographic maps prepared 
by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey and 
the U.S. Geological Survey for Williamson 
Island and Little Tybee Island are pre- 
sented on Atlas plate 24. 

Little Tybee Island is owned by Kerr- 
McGee Corporation of Oklahoma. In 1968, 
Kerr-McGee applied for a permit to strip 
mine phosphate deposits from the marshes 
surrounding the island. The permit was 
stopped by environmental protests and the 
island has remained largely undamaged. 
The future of the island depends on 
Kerr-McGee's ability to obtain a permit 
to strip mine the area (Warner and Strouss 
1976). 

C. WILLIAMSON ISLAND 

Williamson Island is located south 
of Little Tybee Island along the Atlantic 
Ocean adjacent to Wassaw Sound. It is 
little more than an accreting sand spit 
(an extension of Little Tybee's ocean 
shoreline) that has become isolated by the 
formation of an inlet at its northern end. 
The island is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) long by 
0.2 mi (0.3 km) wide. The major compo- 
nents of the vegetative community are 
panic grass, dropseed, saltmeadow cord- 
grass, dog fennel, golden aster, beach 
elder, sea myrtles, glassworts, smooth 
cordgrass, and sea purslane. 



D. WASSAW ISLAND 

Wassaw Island is a barrier island 
located in Chatham County, Georgia, be- 
tween Little Tybee Island to the north 
and Ossabaw Island to the south. The 
island is separated from Little Tybee 
Island by Wassaw Sound and from Ossabaw 
Island by Ossabaw Sound. A broad expanse 
of marsh and tidal creeks separates the 
island from the mainland. The island 
has a sandy beachfront along its entire 
length of 6.0 mi (9.7 km), and a maximum 
width, including both high ground and 
marsh, of 2.0 mi (3.2 km). There are 
2,358 acres (954 ha) of high land and 
7,692 acres (3,113 ha) of marsh. There 
are 5 acres (2 ha) of developed land on 
the island (Warner and Strouss 1976). 

Wassaw Island is a Holocene beach 
ridge island with a maritime forest com- 
munity. Elevations on the island range 
from sea level to 15 ft (4.6 m) at the 
top of the beach ridges. The maritime 
forest consists of live oak, slash pine, 
wax myrtle, southern red cedar, cabbage 
palmetto, saw palmetto, and hollies. 
The surrounding salt marsh is polyhaline. 
Smooth cordgrass dominates the marsh, 
with less abundant species such as black 
needlerush, sea ox-eye, saltmeadow 
cordgrass, glassworts, and salt grass 
also occurring. 

Wassaw Island illustrates erosional 
and depositional trends similar to Tybee 
Island. The northeast portion has a his- 
tory of erosion while the northwest and 
southern portions have accreted. Since 
1897, the northwest and northeast beaches 
have advanced and retreated alternately. 
On the northeast end of the island, the 
maximum distance of advance was 100 m 
(328 ft). Using both maps and aerial 
photography, Oertel and Chamberlain (1975) 
found that the maximum rate of erosion 
was 10.0 m/yr (33.1 ft/yr) during the 
interval 1939 to 1965. These rates were 
verified by field surveys which revealed 
a shoreline advance rate of 33.0 m/yr 
(108 ft/yr) during the period October 
1973 to November 1974 (Oertel and 
Chamberlain 1975). 

Wassaw was bought by the Nature 
Conservancy and turned over to the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service in 1969, and is 
now managed as a National Wildlife Refuge 
(Warner and Strouss 1976). Before the 
island was turned over to the Federal 
Government, restrictions were agreed upon 
to include no bridge access and no 
camping. The previous owners retain 290 
acres (117 ha) in private holdings 
through the Wassaw Island Trust (Warner 
and Strouss 1976). 

E. OSSABAW ISLAND 

Ossabaw Island is a sea island 
located in Chatham County, Georgia, 



1 '-s 



between Wassaw Island to the northeast 
and St. Catherines Island to the south- 
west. The island is separated from 
Wassaw Island by Ossabaw Sound and from 
St. Catherines Island by St. Catherines 
Sound. A broad expanse of marsh and open 
water separates the island from the main- 
land. The island has a sandy beachfront 
along its entire length of 9.5 mi (15.3 
km), and a maximum width, including both 
high ground and marsh, of 4.0 mi (6.4 
km). There are 8,700 acres (3,521 ha) of 
high land and 12,350 acres (4,988 ha) of 
marsh. Between 50 to 100 acres (20 to 
40 ha) are developed with remaining 
acreage existing in a natural state 
(Warner and Strouss 1976). 

Ossabaw Island has a Pleistocene core 
with a Holocene beach ridge fringe. Ele- 
vations on the island range from sea level 
to 25 ft (7.6 m). The high land acreage 
supports a maritime forest consisting of 
live oak, slash pine, wax myrtle, southern 
red cedar, cabbage palmetto, saw palmetto, 
and hollies. The surrounding salt marsh 
is of varying salinity. Smooth cordgrass 
dominates in the low marsh areas, with 
less abundant species such as saltmeadow 
cordgrass, glassworts, black needlerush, 
salt grass, and sea ox-eye occurring in 
the high marsh areas. 

Using both maps and aerial photo- 
graphs, Oertel and Chamberlain (1975) 
found that since 1897, the shoreline of 
Ossabaw Island has generally advanced. 
The largest advances have occurred along 
the capes on the northeast and central 
parts of the island. From 1897 to 
1975, the cape on the northeast corner 
has advanced 350 m (1,148 ft) at rates 
between 2 and 20 m/yr (6.6 and 66 ft/yr). 
The shoreline along the north-central 
portion of the island has advanced a maxi- 
mum of 1,033 m (3,389 ft) and the re- 
sulting cape produced approximately 845 
acres (342 ha) of new land since 1897. 
South of the cape, approximately 2 mi 
(3.2 km) of shoreline were continuously 
eroded from 1897 to 1975. The net 
retreat (1897 - 1975) in this area was 
448 m (1,470 ft). The southern end of 
the island had a relatively continuous 
accretionary history, with the shoreline 
advancing 485 m (1,591 ft) between 1897 
and 1971. The mean rate of advance from 
1897 to 1975 was approximately 5.4 m/yr 
(17.7 ft/yr), with maximum rates of 
20 m/yr (65.6 ft/yr) during several of 
the time measurement intervals (Oertel 
and Chamberlain 1975). 

This island was purchased by the 
Georgia Department of Natural Resources 
in May 1978 as a Heritage Preserve. The 
island will remain a wildlife area under 
the management of the Georgia Department 
of Natural Resources. 



F. ST. CATHERINES ISLAND 

St. Catherines Island is a sea island 
located in Liberty County, Georgia, be- 
tween Ossabaw Island to the north and 
Blackbeard Island to the south. The island 
is separated from Ossabaw Island by St. 
Catherines Sound and from Blackbeard 
Island by Sapelo Sound. A wide band of 
marsh and tidal creeks separates the 
island from the mainland. The island 
has a sandy beachfront along its entire 
length of 11.0 mi (17.7 km), and a 
maximum width, including both high 
ground and marsh, of 3.3 mi (5.2 km). 
There are 14,642 acres (5,924 ha) of 
land on the island of which 6,870 acres 
(2,780 ha) are high land and 7,772 acres 
(3,145 ha) are marsh. One hundred acres 
(40 ha) of high ground are developed 
(Warner and Strouss 1976). 

St. Catherines Island has a Pleisto- 
cene core with a Holocene beach ridge 
fringe. Elevations on the island range 
from sea level to 23 ft (7m). The high- 
land acreage supports a maritime forest 
community consisting of live oak, slash 
pine, wax myrtle, southern red cedar, 
cabbage palmetto, saw palmetto, and 
hollies. The surrounding salt marsh is 
typically polyhaline. Smooth cordgrass 
is dominant in the marsh, with less 
abundant species such as black needlerush, 
sea ox-eye, saltmeadow cordgrass, glass- 
worts, and salt grass also occurring. 

St. Catherines Island is bordered on 
the north and south by tidal inlets that 
head in the marshes and have no river 
sources. According to Oertel and 
Chamberlain (1975), the island had the 
most ubiquitous erosion history of all 
Georgia islands with an average shore- 
line retreat of 4 m/yr (13 ft/yr). Only 
two areas on the island are not 
experiencing erosion. The northeast 
corner of the island advanced 385 m 
(1,263 ft) from 1897 to 1971 while the 
shoreline on the southern side of a small 
inlet in the central portion of the island 
(McQueens Inlet) advanced 128 m (420 ft). 
The remaining shoreline (except the south- 
ern end) exhibits intervals of erosion, 
stability, and accretion (Oertel and 
Chamberlain 1975). Rates of retreat 
varied from a maximum of 24.8 m/yr 
(81.4 ft/yr) (1897 to 1916) to a minimum 
of 0.7 m/yr (2.3 ft/yr) (1952 to 1965) 
(Oertel and Chamberlain 1975). Nine- 
teenth- and twentieth-century shorelines 
from topographic maps prepared by the U.S. 
Coast and Geodetic Survey and the U.S. 
Geological Survey for St. Catherines 
Island are presented on Atlas plate 24. 

St. Catherines Island is owned by 
the John Nobel Foundation. Research 
projects in archaeology, terrestrial 
animal populations, and breeding of rare 
and endangered species have been underway 



159 



for several years by the New York Museum 
of Natural History and the New York 
Zoological Society and are funded by the 
Foundation. Access to the island is 
restricted. The Foundation is presently 
trying to get a tax exempt status since 
taxes have risen astronomically in recent 
years (Warner and Strouss 1976). 



G. BLACKBEARD ISLAND 

Blackbeard Island is a barrier island 
located in Mcintosh County, Georgia, 
between St. Catherines Island to the 
northeast and Sapelo Island to the west 
and southwest. The island is separated 
from St. Catherines Island by Sapelo Sound 
and from Sapelo Island by Blackbeard Creek 
and Cabretta Inlet. The island has a 
sandy beachfront that is 6.3 mi (10.0 km) 
long, a length of 6.4 mi (10.3 km), 
and a maximum width, including both high 
ground and marsh, of 2.6 mi (4.2 km). 
There are approximately 3,620 acres 
(1,465 ha) of high land and 2,000 acres 
(809 ha) of marsh. All of Blackbeard 
Island is in an undeveloped state (Warner 
and Strouss 1976). 

Blackbeard Island is a Holocene beach 
ridge island with a maritime forest com- 
munity on the beach ridges. Elevations on 
the island range from sea level to 30 ft 
(9.2 m). Major components of the remnant 
maritime forest are live oak, slash pine, 
wax myrtle, southern red cedar, cabbage 
palmetto, saw palmetto, and hollies. 
The high land acreage on Blackbeard 
Island is interwoven with fresh and 
brackish water ponds. Vegetation within 
these ponds consists of cattails, 
bulrushes, widgeon grass, duckweed, saw 
grass, giant cordgrass, smooth cord- 
grass, sea ox-eye, black needlerush, 
water-shield, white water-lily, and 
arrow-arum. Smooth cordgrass dominates 
in the low marsh areas, while less 
abundant species such as saltmeadow 
cordgrass, glassworts, black needlerush, 
sea ox-eye, and salt grass occur in the 
higher marsh areas. 

Sequential aerial photography over 
a 10-year period indicates that Blackbeard 
Island is continuously eroding on the 
northern end. Further information is 
unavailable. 

Parts of Blackbeard Island have been 
in Federal ownership since 1800. R. J. 
Reynolds owned a large part of the island 
until the late 1940' s when it was traded 
to the Federal Government for Federal land 
on Sapelo Island. It is currently owned 
and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service as a National Wildlife Refuge. 
Much of the island is classified as 
wilderness, which limits the intensity 
and nature of utilization (Warner and 
Strouss 1976). 



H. 



CABRETTA ISLAND 



Cabretta Island is a barrier island 
located in Mcintosh County, Georgia, 
between Blackbeard Island to the north- 
east and Wolf Island to the southwest. 
The island is separated from Blackbeard 
Island by Cabretta Inlet and from Sapelo 
Island by Big Hole Inlet. Although 
Cabretta Island and Nanny Goat Beach are 
geologically the same island, they are 
being treated as separate islands since 
Nanny Goat Beach is considered part of 
Sapelo Island. There are 899 total acres 
(364 ha) on Cabretta Island of which 688 
acres (278 ha) are high land and 201 acres 
(81 ha) are marsh. The island is in an 
undeveloped state. A sandy beachfront of 
2.5 mi (4.0 km) extends the entire length 
of the island and the average width is 
0.5 mi (0.8 km). 

Cabretta Island is a Holocene island. 
Elevations on the island range from sea 
level to 14 ft (4.2 m) at the top of the 
beach ridges. The high land acreage sup- 
ports a maritime scrub shrub community 
and a smaller maritime forest community 
consisting of live oak, slash pine, wax 
myrtle, southern red cedar, cabbage palmetto, 
saw palmetto, and hollies. The surrounding 
salt marsh is polyhaline. Smooth cordgrass 
is dominant in the marsh, with less 
abundant species such as black needlerush, 
sea ox-eye, saltmeadow cordgrass, glass- 
worts and salt grass also occurring. 

The dune ridges are sharply truncated 
on the north side of Cabretta Island. The 
sand from these dunes is transported along 
the front of the island and deposited on 
Nanny Goat Beach at the south end of 
Sapelo Island (Hoyt and Henry 1967). 
Through time, this island complex is 
moving south. This migration has been 
taking place for the last 1000 to 2000 
years (Maney et al . 1968). 

The State of Georgia currently owns 
all of Cabretta Island. This island is 
part of the Sapelo Island National 
Estuarine Sanctuary. For further details 
on the sanctuary refer to Volume II, 
Chapter Nine. 



I. 



SAPELO ISLAND 



Sapelo Island is a sea island located 
in Mcintosh County, Georgia, between 
Blackbeard Island to the northeast and 
Wolf Island to the southwest. The island 
is separated from Blackbeard Island by 
Blackbeard Creek and from Wolf Island by 
Doboy Sound. The Duplin River and a broad 
expanse of marsh separate the island from 
the mainland. There are 17,950 total 
acres (7,264 ha) on Sapelo Island, of 
which 10,900 acres (4,411 ha) are high 
land and 7,050 acres (2,853 ha) are marsh 
(Warner and Strouss 1976). Some 200 - 
300 acres (81 -121 ha) are developed. The 



160 



island has a sandy beachfront that is 
3.0 mi (4.8 km) long, a length of 8.6 mi 
(13.8 km), and a maximum width, including 
both high ground and marsh, of 3.0 mi 
(4.8 km). 

Sapelo Island has a Pleistocene core 
with a Holocene beach ridge at the south- 
ern end. Elevations on the island range 
from sea level to 27 ft (8.2 m) at the top 
of the beach ridge. The high land acreage 
supports a maritime forest community 
consisting of live oak, slash pine, wax 
myrtle, southern red cedar, cabbage 
palmetto, saw palmetto, and hollies. 
The surrounding salt marsh is polyhaline. 
Smooth cordgrass is dominant in the 
marsh, with less abundant species such 
as black needlerush, sea ox-eye, saltmeadow 
cordgrass, glassworts, and salt grass 
also occurring. 

The dune ridges are sharply truncated 
on the north side of the island. The 
sand from these dunes is transported along 
the front of the island and deposited at 
the south end of Sapelo Island (Hoyt and 
Henry 1967). Through time, this island 
complex is moving south. This migration 
has been taking place for the last 1000 - 
2000 years (Maney et al. 1968). 

The State of Georgia currently owns 
all of Sapelo Island and it is now part 
of the Sapelo Island National Estuarine 
Sanctuary. The University of Georgia's 
Sapelo Island Marine Research Station is 
located on the southern tip of the island, 
adjacent to the Duplin River and Doboy 
Sound. For further details on the 
sanctuary, refer to Volume II, Chapter Nine. 

J. WOLF ISLAND 

Wolf Island is a marsh island located 
in Mcintosh County, Georgia, between 
Sapelo Island to the northeast and Little 
St. Simons Island to the south. The 
island is separated from Sapelo Island by 
Doboy Sound and from Little St. Simons 
Island by Altamaha Sound. A wide band of 
marsh and tidal creeks separates Wolf 
Island from the mainland. The island's 
250 acres (101 ha) of high land and 
4,876 acres (1,973 ha) of marsh exist in 
an undeveloped state. The island is 
3.5 mi (4.8 km) long and 3.0 mi (4.8 km) 
wide through an interspersion of marsh 
and high land. A sandy beach extends the 
entire length of the island. 

Wolf Island is a Holocene marsh island 
with a successional shrub community on the 
high land areas that have been formed by 
dredged materials removed frura the 
Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW). 
Elevations on the island range from sea 
level to 10 ft (3.0 m) at the top of the 
upland areas. The successional shrub 
community consists of yaupon holly, slash 
pine, southern red cedar, saw palmetto, 
and wax myrtle. The surrounding salt 



marsh is of varying salinity. Smooth 
cordgrass dominates in the low marsh 
areas , with less abundant species such 
as saltmeadow cordgrass, glassworts, 
black needlerush, salt grass, sea myrtle, 
and sea ox-eye occurring in the high 
marsh areas. 

Wolf Island experiences continual 
erosion. Recession has been greatest at 
the northern end of the island and lessens 
to the south. The northern portion of 
the island has eroded about 2,300 ft 
(701 m) while the southern end has 
experienced approximately 500 ft (152 m) 
of erosion between 1867 - 1952 (U.S. 
Army Corps of Engineers 1971). 

Wolf Island has been federally owned 
since 1828 (Warner and Strouss 1976) . 
Acquired through the Nature Conservancy, 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages 
the island as a National Wildlife Refuge. 
Congress has designated Wolf Island as 
a wilderness area, which severely limits 
use. It is a major nesting area for 
loggerhead turtles (Warner and Strouss 
1976). 



K. 



LITTLE ST. SIMONS ISLAND 



Little St. Simons Island is a marsh 
island located in Glynn County, Georgia. 
The island is separated from Wolf Island 
by Altamaha Sound and from Sea Island by 
the Hampton River. A broad expanse of 
marsh and the Hampton River separate the 
island from St. Simons Island. The island 
has a sandy beachfront that is 5.4 mi 
(8.7 km) long, a length of 10.5 mi 
(16.9 km), and a maximum width, including 
both high ground and marsh, of 3.0 mi 
(4.8 km). There are 8,800 acres (3,578 
ha) of land on Little St. Simons Island 
of which 2,300 acres (931 ha) are high 
ground and approximately 6,500 acres 
(2,631 ha) are marsh (Warner and Strouss 
1976). 

Little St. Simons Island is a 
Holocene marsh island with a maritime 
forest community. Elevations on the is- 
land range from sea level to 28 ft (8.5 m) 
at the top of the dune ridge. The mari- 
time forest consists of live oak, slash 
pine, wax myrtle, southern red cedar, 
cabbage palmetto, saw palmetto, and 
hollies. Logging and feral animals 
introduced by man have altered historic 
vegetation patterns. The surrounding 
salt marsh is dominated by smooth 
cordgrass, and less abundant species 
such as black needlerush, sea ox-eye, 
saltmeadow cordgrass, glassworts, and 
salt grass also occur. Nineteenth- and 
twentieth-century shorelines from topo- 
graphic maps prepared by the U.S. Coast 
and Geodetic Survey and the U.S. Geo- 
logical Survey for Little St. Simons 
Island are presented on Atlas plate 24. 



161 



Little St. Simons Island is owned 
by the Berolzhimer family, who presently 
use the island as a hunting preserve 
(Warner and Strouss 1976). Taxes on the 
island are increasing and may force the 
present owners to sell to developers. The 
natural system has been altered by man 
and cannot be considered virgin or unique. 
The only development on the island is one 
building (Warner and Strouss 1976). 



L. 



ST. SIMONS ISLAND 



St. Simons Island is a sea island 
located in Glynn County, Georgia, between 
Sea Island to the north and Jekyll Island 
to the south. The island is separated 
from Sea Island by Goulds Inlet, Blackbank 
River, and Village Creek and from Jekyll 
Island by St. Simons Sound. The island 
is separated from the mainland by the Back 
River, Mackay River, and the AIWW. The 
island has a sandy beachfront that is 
3.0 mi (4.8 km) long, a length of 11.0 
mi (17.7 km), and a maximum width, 
including both high ground and marsh, of 
3.0 mi (4.8 km). There are 12,300 acres 
(4,978 ha) of high land and 13,329 acres 
(5,394 ha) of marsh. Approximately 2,500 
acres (1,012 ha) of high land are developed 
(Warner and Strouss 1976). 

St. Simons Island has a Pleistocene 
core with a Holocene beach ridge fringe. 
Elevations on the island range from sea 
level to 25 ft (7.6 m) at the top of the 
natural beach ridges. The maritime forest 
consists of live oak, slash pine, wax 
myrtle, southern red cedar, cabbage pal- 
metto, saw palmetto, and hollies. The 
surrounding salt marsh is dominated by 
smooth cordgrass, and less abundant 
species such as black needlerush, sea ox- 
eye, saltmeadow cordgrass, glassworts, 
and salt grass also occur. Sand transport 
data for St. Simons Island are not available. 

The beach front at St. Simons Island 
is almost totally developed and two 
development companies own most of the 
remaining land (Warner and Strouss 1976). 
The north end behind Sea Island is un- 
developed and is owned by the Sea Island 
Company and the St. Simons Company which 
plan to build as the economy improves 
(Warner and Strouss 1976). Half-acre lots 
were assessed at $60,000 on the ocean 
front, $35,000 on the waterfront, and 
$20,000 on the marsh front in 1975 
(Warner and Strouss 1976). 



M. 



SEA ISLAND 



Sea Island is a barrier island 
located in Glynn County, Georgia. The 
island is located between Little St. 
Simons Island to the northeast and St. 
Simons Island to the west. The island is 
separated from Little St. Simons Island 
by the Hampton River and from St. Simons 
Island by Village Creek, Blackbank River, 



and Goulds Inlet. There are 1,100 acres 
(445 ha) of high land and 800+ acres 
(324+ ha) of marsh. Sea Island has 736 
acres (298 ha) of developed high land 
and 364 acres (147 ha) of undeveloped 
high land (Warner and Strouss 1976). 
The island has a sandy beachfront that 
is 4.5 mi (7.2 km) long, a length of 4.6 
mi (7.4 km), and a maximum width, including 
both high ground and marsh, of 2.0 mi 
(3.2 km). 

Sea Island is a Holocene barrier 
island with a maritime forest community 
on the beach ridges. Elevations on the 
island range from sea level to 22 ft 
(6.7 m). The major components of the 
remnant maritime forest are live oak, 
slash pine, wax myrtle, southern red 
cedar, cabbage palmetto, saw palmetto, 
and hollies. The surrounding salt marsh 
is of varying salinity. Smooth cordgrass 
dominates in the low marsh areas, with 
less abundant species such as saltmeadow 
cordgrass, glassworts, black needlerush, 
salt grass, and sea ox-eye occurring in 
the high marsh areas. 

Sea Island has experienced a gradual 
recession with a variably stable shoreline 
over most of its length since 1870. A 
spit at the southern end of Sea Island 
extended to the south some 2,000 ft 
(610 m) between 1867 - 1870, and again in 
1951 - 1952. Both the accretion and 
erosion along Sea Island have been gener- 
ally less than 200 ft/yr (61 m/yr) (U.S. 
Army Corps of Engineers 1971). 

Sea Island is owned by the Sea Island 
Company. It is approximately two-thirds 
developed, with the remaining land to be 
developed as it is sold. In 1975, a lot 
150 ft by 160 ft (46 m by 49 m) was valued 
at $200,000 for ocean front, $70,000 - 
$80,000 for water front, and $40,000 - 
$50,000 in the interior. The island is an 
exclusive private resort with no public 
access to the beach. 



N. 



JEKYLL ISLAND 



Jekyll Island is a sea island located 
in Glynn County, Georgia, between St. 
Simons Island to the northeast and Little 
Cumberland Island to the south. The 
island is separated from St. Simons Island 
by St. Simons Sound and from Little 
Cumberland Island by St. Andrews Sound. 
A broad expanse of marsh and open water 
separates the island from the mainland. 
The island has a sandy beachfront along its 
entire length of 8.0 mi (12.9 km), and a 
maximum width, including both high ground 
and marsh, of 1.5 mi (2.4 km). There 
are 4,300 acres (1,740 ha) of high land 
and 1,400 acres (567 ha) of marsh. Of 
the total 5,700 acres (2,307 ha) of land 
on Jekyll Island, 3,700 acres (1,497 ha) 
are developed, with the balance in an 
undeveloped state (Warner and Strouss 1976). 



162 



Jekyll Island has a Pleistocene core 
with a Holocene beach ridge fringe along 
the ocean shoreline. Elevations on the 
island range from sea level to 35 ft 
(10.7 m). The high land acreage supports 
a remnant maritime forest which has been 
substantially altered by commercial and 
residential development. The maritime 
forest community consists primarily of 
live oak, cabbage palmetto, saw palmetto, 
southern red cedar, wax myrtle, and slash 
pine. The surrounding salt marsh is of 
varying salinity. Smooth cordgrass 
dominates in the low marsh areas, with 
less abundant species such as saltmeadow 
cordgrass, glassworts, black needlerush, 
salt grass, and sea ox-eye occurring in 
the high marsh areas. 

Since 1856, about 900 ft (274 m) have 
been eroded from the northern tip of 
Jekyll Island. The northern 2,700 ft 
(823 m) of the island are receding at an 
average rate of A. 2 ft/yr (1.3 m/yr) , 
while the southern shore is accreting. 
In addition, the 37,700 ft (11,491 m) 
along the northern tip of the island are 
receding at an average rate of 8 ft/yr 
(2.4 m/yr) (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
1975c). 

In 1947, Jekyll Island was purchased 
by the State of Georgia to be operated by 
the Jekyll Island Authority as a State 
park. A bridge and causeway costing about 
$5 million were built in 1954 to link the 
island with the mainland. Since that 
time, rapid development on the island has 
taken place. Six hundred private 
dwellings were built on land leased from 
the Authority and the area now supports 
numerous tourist accommodations including 
motels, golf courses, the "Aquarama" (a 
convention hall and group activity 
center), a half million dollar fishing 
pier, a campground, picnic sites, and 
modern bathhouses. The island is served 
with complete water and sewer systems, 
fire department, shopping center, and 
postal and police services (U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers 1975c). 



0. 



LITTLE CUMBERLAND ISLAND 



Little Cumberland Island is a sea 
island located in Camden County, Georgia, 
between Jekyll Island to the north and 
Cumberland Island to the south. It is 
separated from Jekyll Island by St. 
Andrews Sound and from Cumberland Island 
by Christmas Creek. A broad expanse of 
marsh and tidal creeks separates the 
island from the mainland. The island has 
2.4 mi (3.9 km) of sandy beachfront, a 
length of 3.5 mi (5.6 km), ard a maxima: 
width of 1.4 mi (1.7 km), including 
both high land and marsh. There are 
1,000 acres (405 ha) of salt marsh, 
1,410 acres (571 ha) of high land, and 



200 acres (81 ha) of developed high land 
on the island, with the remaining high 
land acreage in an undeveloped state 
(Warner and Strouss 1976). 

Little Cumberland Island has a 
Pleistocene core with a Holocene beach 
ridge fringe along the ocean shoreline. 
The high land acreage supports a maritime 
forest community with several freshwater 
lakes, ponds, and sloughs. Elevations on 
the island range from sea level to 55 ft 
(16.8 m). Major components of the remnant 
maritime forest are live oak, slash pine, 
wax myrtle, southern red cedar, saw 
palmetto, and hollies. 

Net erosion on the beaches of Little 
Cumberland Island is typically low, due 
mainly to the immediate redeposltlon of 
sand downdrift from the sector of erosion, 
as well as the trapping effect of the inlet 
shoals, which may serve as a reservoir of 
sand for subsequent resupply to the beach 
(Hillestad et al. 1975). (See Atlas plate 24). 

Little Cumberland Island is privately 
owned by a group of conservationists 
collectively designated as the Little 
Cumberland Island Association. Little 
Cumberland Island is included as part of 
the Cumberland Island National Seashore, 
operated by the National Park Service. 
The Association is permanently preserving 
approximately three-quarters of the island 
as virtual wilderness. Development of the 
remainder is limited by covenants and deed 
restrictions mutually agreed upon by the 
Park Service and the Association (Warner 
and Strouss 1976). 

P. CUMBERLAND ISLAND 

Cumberland Island is a sea island 
located in Camden County, Georgia, between 
Little Cumberland Island to the north and 
Amelia Island, Florida, to the south. 
It is separated from Little Cumberland 
Island by Christmas Creek and from Amelia 
Island by Cumberland Sound. A broad 
expanse of marsh and tidal creeks 
separates the island from the mainland. 
Cumberland Island has a sandy beachfront 
along its entire length of 17.0 mi (27.4 km), 
and a maximum width of 4.0 mi (6.4 km), 
including both high land and marsh. 
There are 15,150 acres (6,131 ha) of 
high land on Cumberland Island and 8,050 
acres (3,258 ha) of salt marsh. The 
majority of the high land exists in an 
undeveloped state (Warner and Strouss 
1976). 

The island has a Pleistocene core 
with a Holocene beach ridge fringe along 
the ocean shoreline. The high land acreage 
supports a maritime forest community with 
several freshwater lakes, ponds, and 
sloughs. Elevations range from sea level 
to 55 ft (16.8 m). Net erosion on the 
beach of Cumberland Island is similar to 



163 



that of Little Cumberland (see Atlas plate 
24) . It is typically low due to the 
immediate redeposition of sand downdrift 
from the sector of erosion, as well as 
the trapping effect of the inlet shoals 
(Hillestad et al. 1975). 

Cumberland Island has had a long 
history of human occupation and steward- 
ship. It exists today in a semi-wild 
state, although greatly modified by the 
land uses and management practices of 
earlier inhabitants. Cumberland Island 
has served as a hunting area since 
aboriginal times and as an intermittent 
source of timber. Its militarily 
strategic location was recognized during 
the Spanish occupation, and forts were 
erected by several armies over a period 
of 180 years. Cumberland produced high 
quality sea island cotton during the 
plantation era and has been the site of 
various attempts at animal husbandry. 
Feral swine and other residual live- 
stock still roam the island (Bullard 1975). 

Starting in 1962, the National Park 
Foundation began acquiring land on 
Cumberland Island totaling 15,554 acres 
(6,295 ha) by 1972. In 1972 the 15,554 
acres (6,295 ha) became part of the 
National Park System managed by the 
U.S. Department of the Interior (Bullard 
1975). It is now a national seashore. 
(See Volume II, Chapter Nine for addi- 
tional information on this national sea- 
shore.) The area included in the National 
Park System comprises approximately 80% 
of Cumberland Island, with the remaining 
20% (6,450 acres) (2,610 ha) being 
privately owned (Warner and Strouss 1976). 



164 



APPENDIX C 
DREDGING DATA 



Appendix C is a summary of dredging 
data for Georgetown Harbor-Winyah Bay, 
Charleston Harbor, Port Royal Harbor, 
Savannah Harbor, Brunswick Harbor, and 
St. Marys Entrance Channel and Kings Bay. 
These data are from the annual reports of 
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston, 
Savannah, and Jacksonville Districts, 
dating from 1878. 



165 



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185 



APPENDIX D 

PRIORITY RANKING OF AREAS IN SOUTH CAROLINA 
AND GEORGIA IDENTIFIED BY THE U.S. FISH AND 
WILDLIFE SERVICE AS BEING IN NEED OF PRESER- 
VATION. 



The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
has, as a high priority national mission, 
the task of identifying, evaluating, and 
seeking measures to assure the protection 
and perpetuation of unique or nationally 
significant wildlife ecosystems. Through 
close cooperation with other Federal 
agencies, State and local governments, and 
private concerns, the Service's Southeast- 
ern Regional Office personnel have identi- 
fied unique or nationally significant 
wildlife areas in the States of South 
Carolina and Georgia. 

The goals of this effort are to 

1) identify the wildlife ecosystems within 
these States that are unique, with the 
intent of positively influencing the pro- 
tection and preservation of these areas; 

2) determine the nature and imminence of 
threat to each area; and 3) provide infor- 
mation needed to make sound judgements as 
to the most feasible means of preserving 
these unique areas. 

This information became available 
after the final report for the Sea Island 
Ecological Characterization had been com- 
pleted. Because of the potential signifi- 
cance of this information, the following 
summary tables have been included as an 
appendix to this report. 

The following tables, prepared by the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, list by 
priority ranking the unique or nationally 
significant wildlife areas in South 
Carolina and Georgia that are not under 
public ownership or control, and briefly 
describe the significance of each area 
and the nature of threats to their con- 
tinued functioning as natural ecosystems. 
Additional information can be obtained 
from the Regional Director, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, Richard B. Russell 
Federal Building, 75 Spring Street SW, 
Atlanta, Georgia 30303. 



186 



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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 1966f. 

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201 



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202 



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203 



INDEX 

(This index is not an all inclusive sub- 
ject index; it is designed for use 
in conjunction with the detailed Table 
of Contents.) 

Academy Creek, dredging data, 178,180,182 
Acid soils, 41,44,118-119 (See also Soils) 
Agricultural runoff, 128-129 
Air pollution (See also Air quality) 

impacts, 122 

sources, 120-122 
Air quality, 119 (See also Air pollution) 

data, 124-127 

standards, 120,123 
Altamaha River 

classification, 76 

Glynn County drainage, 115,138 

Mcintosh County drainage, 138 

origin, 78 

physiography, 7,79 

preservation, 189 

tidal inlet classification, 95 

water quality, 130 
Amelia Island, erosion and deposition, 

99-100 
Anastasia Formation, 5 
Aquifer 

Berkeley County, 27 

Beaufort County, 33,35 

Brunswick, 31,33 

Dorchester County, 27 

freshwater recharge, 33,35 

Floridian, 31 

Georgetown County, 27,34 

Horry County, 34 

Principal Artesian, 31-33,35 

Savannah, 31,35 

Santee Formation, 27 

St. Marys, 31 
Ashepoo River, Colleton County drainage, 

134 
Ashley-Combahee-Edisto River basin 

preservation, 187 
Ashley River 

Charleston County drainage, 133 

Dorchester County drainage, 133 

dredging data, 172-174 

shoaling, 111 

water quality, 84,120,129 
Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway 

construction history, 61,105 

description, 104-105 

dredged disposal easements, 73,87,105, 
107 

dredging data, 87,105, 1 .07 

Back River, dredging data, 179,181,183 
Barbour-Oldnor Islands, preservation, 189 
Barrier islands 

definition, 65,71 

erosion and deposition, 14,72 

formation, 72 

identification, 63,66-70 

physiography, 61,65-70 

profile, 65 
Bay Point Island 

acreage, 155 

development, 155 

elevations, 155 



erosion and deposition, 155 

location, 155 

physiography, 68 

preservation, 188 

type, 155 

vegetation, 155 
Beach erosion, control structures, 73 
Beach nourishment, 73 
Bear9 Island, preservation, 189 
Beaufort County 

development, 135 

elevations, 135 

geologic structure, 21 

location, 134 

mineral deposits, 2 

physiography, 21,74-75 

population, 135 

river system drainage, 135 

wetland acreage, 135 
Beaufort River, water quality, 130 
Berkeley County 

development, 133 

elevations, 132 

locations, 132 

mineral deposits, 2,27 

physiography, 74-75 

population, 133 

river system drainage, 132 

wetland acreage, 132 
Black Creek 

aquifer, 33-34 

formation, 33 
Black River 

classification, 76 

Georgetown County drainage, 132 

physiography, 78-79 

preservation, 188 

water quality, 129 
Blackbeard Island 

acreage, 160 

classification, 160 

development, 160 

elevations, 160 

erosion and deposition, 160 

location, 160 

physiography, 69 

profile, 65 

vegetation, 160 
Botany Bay Island 

acreage, 150 

classification, 150 

development, 150-151 

elevations, 150 

erosion and deposition, 150 

holocene sediments, 14 

location, 150 

shoreline changes, 150 

vegetation, 150 
Bouguer anomalies, 21,24,30 
Broad River 

Beaufort County drainage, 135 

physiography, 76 
Brunswick Harbor 

construction history, 113 

description, 104,113 

dredging data, 106,115,178-183 

shoaling, 115 

water quality, 102,130 
Brunswick River 

Glynn County drainage, 138 

water quality, 130 



204 



Bryan County 

coastal terraces, 7 

development, 137 

elevations, 136 

location, 136 

physiography, 74-75 

population, 137 

river system drainage, 136-137 

wetland acreage, 137 
Bull Island 

acreage, 145 

classification, 145 

development, 145 

elevations, 145 

erosion and deposition, 145 

formation, 72 

littoral drift, 90 

location, 145 

physiography, 66 

vegetation, 145 
Bulls Bay, estuarine classification, 80 

Cabretta Island 

acreage, 160 

classification, 160 

development, 160 

elevations, 160 

erosion and deposition, 160 

location, 160 

physiography, 69 

vegetation, 160 
Calibogue Sound 

estuarine classification, 80 

tidal inlet classification, 95 
Camden County 

coastal terraces, 7 

development, 139 

elevations, 139 

location, 139 

physiography, 74-75 

population, 139 

pulp mill effluent, 128 

river system drainage, 139 

wetland acreage, 139 
Canepatch Formation, 5 
Canocchee River 

Bryan County drainage, 137 

Chatham County drainage, 136 

Liberty County drainage, 137 
Cape Fear Arch, 2,21,24 
Cape Island 

acreage, 142,144 

classification, 142 

development, 144 

elevations, 144 

erosion and deposition, 144 

location, 142 

physiography, 66 

shoreline changes, 144 

vegetation, 144 
Cape Romain, preservation, 187 
Capers Island 

acreage, 145 

classification, 145 

development, 146 

elevations, 145 

erosion and deposition, 146 

littoral drift, 90 

location, 145 

physiography, 66 

shoreline changes, 146 

vegetation, 145 



Carolina Bays 

age, 13 

Charleston County, 14 

coastal terraces, 7 

formation, 7 - 8,13,73 

Horry County, 8,16 

orientation, 13-16 

vegetation, 7 
Cat clay, formation, 44,118-119 
Cedar Island 

acreage, 141-142 

classification, 142 

development, 142 

elevations, 142 

erosion and deposition, 142 

location, 141 

physiography, 66 

vegetation, 142 
Cement production, 29 
Charleston County 

development, 134 

elevations, 133-134 

location, 133-134 

Mayrant's Reserve Fair lawn Plantation, 
preservation, 187 

mineral deposits, 2 

physiography, 14,74-75 

population, 134 

pulp mill effluent, 128 

river system drainage, 133-134 

wetland acreage, 134 
Charleston earthquake, 24,27,30 
Charleston Harbor 

area, 81 

estuarine classification, 80 

construction history, 108 

current flow characteristics, 115 

current velocities, 82-83 

depth, 24,29,81 

description, 80,104,108 

dredged disposal easements, 110,112,114 

dredging data, 106,108,172-173 

erosion and deposition, 108,111 

fecal coliform, 84 

jetties, 72-73,99,108,111 

salinity, 81-83 

sediments, 13,82 

shoaling, 110-111,117-119 

tidal inlet classification, 95 

tidal prism, 81 

water quality, 81,84,102,119-120,128-129 

water temperature, 82 
Chatham County 

coastal terraces, 7 

development, 136 

elevations, 136 

location, 136 

mineral deposits, 27 

physiography, 74-75 

population, 136 

pulp mill effluent, 128 

river system drainage, 136 

shoreline development, 20 

wetland acreage, 136 
Church Creek, water quality, 130 
Clean Air Act, 120 (See also Air quality) 
Coastal terraces, 5,8,61,73 
Colleton County 

development, 134 

elevations, 134 

location, 134 

mineral deposits, 2 



205 



physiography, 74-75 

population, 134 

river system drainage, 134 

wetland acreage, 134 
Colleton River 

Beaufort County drainage, 135 
Combahee River 

classification, 76 

Colleton County drainage, 134 

physiography, 78-79 
Commodore Island, 87 
Cooper Formation, 21 
Cooper River 

Berkeley County drainage, 116,132 

Charleston County drainage, 133 

classification, 76 

dissolved oxygen, 84 

dredged disposal easements, 114 

dredging data, 172-173 

physiography, 78-79 

salinity, 82 

sediments, 82 

water quality, 120,129-130 
Coosaw River, 76 

phosphate mining, 27 

water quality, 130 
Coosawhatchie River, Beaufort County 

drainage, 135 
Coriolis force, 80 

Crooked River, Camden County drainage, 139 
Cumberland Island 

acreage, 163 

classification, 163 

development, 164 

elevations, 163 

erosion and deposition, 99,100,163 

location, 163 

physiography, 70 

vegetation, 163 
Cumberland Sound, estuarine classification, 
80 

Daufuskie Island 

acreage, 156 

classification, 156 

development, 156 

elevations, 156 

erosion and deposition, 156 

location, 156 

physiography, 68 

shoreline changes, 156 

vegetation, 156 
Deveaux Bank 

acreage, 150 

classification, 150 

development, 150 

elevations, 150 

erosion and deposition, 150 

location, 150 

physiography, 67 

shoreline changes, 150 

vegetation, 150 
Dewees Island 

acreage, 146 

classification, 146 

development, 146 

elevations, 146 

erosion and deposition, 146 

location, 146 

physiography, 66 

preservation, 188 

vegetation, 146 



Doboy Sound 

area, 85 

current velocities, 86 

description, 85 

dredging data, 87 

salinity, 85 

sediments, 86 

tidal inlet classification, 95 

water temperature, 85-86 
Dorchester County 

development, 133 

elevations, 133 

location, 133 

mineral deposits, 2,27 

physiography, 74-75 

population, 133 

river system drainage, 133 

wetland acreage, 133 
Dredging data (See site specific loca- 
tions) 
Droughts, 50 

Drum Island, preservation, 187 
Duplin Formation, 2,5 

Earthquakes, 24-27,29-30 (See also 

Seismicity) 
East River 

dredging data, 178,180,182 

water quality, 130 
Ebenezer Creek, preservation, 189 
Edisto Beach 

acreage, 151 

classification, 151 

development, 151 

elevations, 151 

erosion and deposition, 73,151 

sediments, 14 

location, 151 

physiography, 67 

vegetation, 151 
Edisto Island, sediments, 21 
Edisto River 

classification, 76 

Colleton County drainage, 134 

Dorchester County drainage, 133 

physiography, 78-79 

water quality, 130 
Effingham County 

development, 136 

elevations, 136 

location, 135-136 

physiography, 74-75 

population, 136 

river system drainage, 136 

wetland acreage, 136 
Erosion and deposition, 72-73, 98-100 (See 

also respective islands) 
Estuaries 

classification, 80 

sediments, 80,97 

water circulation, 80-81 
Eutrophication, 128 

Fish kills, 84 

Fishing Creek, water quality, 130 

Floridian aquifer, 31 

Fluvial deposits, 13,76 

Fluvial terraces, 7,9 

Folly Island 

acreage, 148 

classification, 148 

development, 149 



206 



elevations, 148 

erosion and deposition, 73,149 

location, 148 

physiography, 67 

vegetation, 148-149 
Four Holes Swamp, preservation, 188 
Freshwater runoff, 102 
Fripp Island 

acreage, 153 

classification, 153 

development, 153 

elevations, 153 

erosion and deposition, 153 

location, 153 

physiography, 68 

vegetation, 153 

Geologic formations, 6 (See also respec- 
tive formations) 
Georgetown County 

development, 132 

elevations, 132 

Kinloch Plantation, preservation, 188 

location, 132 

mineral deposits, 27 

physiography, 74-75 

population, 132 

pulp mill effluent, 128 

river system drainage, 132 

wetland acreage, 132 
Georgetown Harbor 

construction history, 105 

description, 104-105 

dredging data, 105-106,108,166,169 
Glynn County 

development, 138 

elevations, 138 

Evelyn Grantly Tract, preservation, 190 

location, 138 

physiography, 74-75 

population, 138-139 

pulp mill effluent, 128 

river system drainage, 138 

wetland acreage, 138 
Grays Reef, 2 
Great Pee Dee River 

geomorphic elements, 12 

sediments, 7 
Groundwater 

economic value, 2,33 

management, 38 

mining impact, 104 

movement, 35 

saltwater encroachment, 33,35-37 

Hawthorn Formation, 27 
Hilton Head Island 

acreage, 155 

classification, 155 

development, 155 

elevations, 155 

erosion and deposition, 73,155 

location, 155 

physiography, 68 

vegetation, 155 
Holocene sediments, 13-14 
Horry County, Carolina Bays, 8,16 
Hunting Island 

acreage, 152 

classification, 152 

development, 153 

elevations, 152 



erosion and deposition, 73,152 

location, 152 

physiography, 68 

vegetation, 152 
Hurricanes 

classification, 53 

destruction, 56,59 

frequency, 58 

history, 53-55,57,60 

related precipitation, 56,60 
Hydroelectric power, 116,118 

Impoundments, diking, coastal marsh, 104 

Island formation, 71-72 

Island classification, 61 (See also 

Barrier islands, Marsh islands, Sea 
islands) 
Isle of Palms 

acreage, 147 

classification, 146 

development, 147 

elevations, 147 

erosion and deposition, 73,147 

location, 146 

physiography, 66 

vegetation, 147 

James Island 

acreage, 148 

classification, 148 

development, 148 

elevations, 148 

erosion and deposition, 148 

location, 148 

physiography, 67 

vegetation, 148 
Jasper County 

development, 135 

elevations, 135 

geologic structure, 21 

location, 135 

Ocatee Club, preservation, 187 

physiography, 74-75 

population, 135 

river system drainage, 135 

wetland acreage, 135 
Jekyll Island 

acreage, 162 

classification, 162 

development, 163 

elevations, 163 

erosion and deposition, 73,163 

location, 162 

physiography, 70 

vegetation, 163 
Jeremy Creek, water quality, 129 
Jericho River 

Bryan County drainage, 136 

Liberty County drainage, 137 

Kiawah Island 

acreage, 149 

classification, 149 

development , 149 

elevations, 149 

erosion and deposition, 99,149 

sediments, 14 

location, 149 

physiography, 67 

vegetation, 149 
Kings Bay 

construction history, 115 

description, 104 



207 



dredging data, 106,116,184-185 

Ladies Island, 72 
Ladson Formation, 27 
Lake Marion, 78,116 
Lake Moultrie, 111 

discharge, 81,118 

formation, 78,116 
Liberty County 

coastal terraces, 7 

development, 137 

elevations, 137 

location, 137 

physiography, 74-75 

population, 137 

pulp mill effluent, 128 

river system drainage, 137 

wetland acreage, 137 
Lighthouse Island 

acreage, 144 

classification, 144 

development, 144 

elevations, 144 

erosion and deposition, 144 

location, 144 

physiography, 66 

shoreline changes, 144 

vegetation, 144 
Limestone, 2,29,31,104 

Berkeley County, 27 

Blake Plateau, 21 

Dorchester County, 27 

Georgetown County, 27 
Little Capers Island 

acreage, 154 

classification, 154 

development, 154 

elevations, 154 

erosion and deposition, 154 

location, 154 

physiography, 68 

vegetation, 154 
Little Cumberland Island 

acreage, 163 

classification, 163 

development, 163 

elevations, 163 

erosion and deposition, 163 

location, 163 

physiography, 70 

vegetation, 163 
Little Ogeechee River, Chatham County 

drainage, 136 
Little Pee Dee River 

geomorphic elements, 12 

sediments, 7 
Little River, coquiv.a pits, 104 
Little Satilla River 

Camden County drainage, 139 

Glynn County drainage, 138 
Little St. Simons Island 

acreage, 161 

classification, 161 

development, 162 

elevations, 161 

formation, 72 

location, 161 

physiography, 70 

preservation, 189 

: horeline changes, 161 

vegetation, 161 
Little Tybee Island 

acreage, 157 



classification, 157 
development, 158 
elevations, 157 
erosion and deposition, 158 
location, 157 
mineral deposits, 27 
physiography, 69 
shoreline changes, 158 
vegetation, 157-158 
Littoral drift, 71-72,87-88,90,93,98-100, 
102,108 

Magnetic anomaly, 24 
Marion County, 8 
Marsh islands 

definition, 71 

formation, 61,71 

identification, 64,66-70 

physiography, 66-70 
May River, Beaufort County drainage, 135 
Mcintosh County 

development, 138 

elevations, 138 

location, 137-138 

physiography, 74-75 

population, 138 

river system drainage, 138 

wetland acreage, 138 
Medway River 

Bryan County drainage, 136 

Liberty County drainage, 137 
Mercalli intensity scale, 25-26 
Mesozoic formation, 2-3 
Mineral deposits, 27 

coquina, 104 

limestone, 2,21,27,29,31,104 

phosphate, 2,27-28,31,104 
Morgan River, 76 
Morris Island 

acreage, 147 

bottom currents, 82 

classification, 147 

development, 148 

elevations, 148 

erosion and deposition, 99,108,111,113, 
148 

location, 147 

physiography, 67 

shoreline changes, 148 

vegetation, 148 
Murphy Island 

acreage, 142 

classification, 142 

development, 142 

elevations, 142 

erosion and deposition, 142 

location, 142 

physiography, 66 

shoreline changes, 142 

vegetation, 142 
Murrells Inlet 

estuarine classification, 80 

water quality, 128 

New River 

Beaufort County drainage, 135 

Jasper County drainage, 135 
North Edisto River, Charleston County 

drainage, 133 
North Inlet, littoral drift, 90 
North Island 

acreage, 140 

classification, 140-141 



208 



elevations, 141 

erosion and deposition, 99,108-110,141 

location, 140 

physiography, 66 

vegetation, 141 
North Newport River, Liberty County 

drainage, 137 
North Santee Bay sediments, 13,17 
North Santee River 

erosion and deposition, 117 

sediments, 18 

tidal inlet classification, 95 

water quality, 129 

Ocmulgee River, 78 
Oconee River, 78 
Ogeechee River 

Bryan County drainage, 137 

Chatham County drainage, 136 

classification, 76 

Effingham County drainage, 136 

origin, 78 

physiography, 79 

preservation, 189 

water quality, 130 
Oil and gas exploration, 104 
Okefenokee Swamp, 78,130 
Old Island, 72 
Ossabaw Island 

acreage, 159 

classification, 159 

development, 159 

elevations, 159 

erosion and deposition, 159 

location, 158-159 

physiography, 69 

shoreline changes, 159 

vegetation, 159 
Ossabaw Sound 

phosphate, 104 

tidal inlet classification, 95 
Otter Island 

acreage, 151 

classification, 151 

development, 152 

elevations, 152 

location, 151 

physiography, 67 

vegetation, 152 
Oysters, 84 (See also Water quality) 

Pamlico Formation, 5 
Pawleys Island 

acreage, 140 

classification, 140 

development, 140 

elevations, 140 

erosion and deposition, 73,140 

location, 140 

physiography, 66 

vegetation, 140 
Peat 

formation, 21,41 

mining, 2,29 
Pee Dee Formation, 2 
Pee Dee River 

classification, 76 

Georgetown County drainage, 132 

origin, 78 

physiography, 76,79 

water quality, 129 
Peninsular arch-Central Georgia uplift, 
2,21 



Phosphate mining, 2,27-28,31,104 
Pine Island 

acreage, 151 

classification, 151 

development, 151 

elevations, 151 

location, 151 

physiography, 67 

vegetation, 151 
Pinopolis Dam, 116 
Pleistocene sediments, 5,7 
Pocotaligo River, Beaufort County 

drainage, 135 
Port Royal Harbor 

dredging data, 106,174 

description, 104 
Port Royal Sound 

estuarine classification, 80 

construction history, 111 

dredging data, 112 

tidal inlet classification, 95 

water quality, 130 
Princess Anne Formation, 5 
Principal Artesian Aquifer, 31-33,35 
Pritchards Island 

acreage, 153 

classification, 153 

development, 153 

elevations, 153 

erosion and deposition, 153 

location, 153 

physiography, 68 

vegetation, 153 

Quaternary period, 2,13 

Raccoon Key 

acreage, 144 

classification, 144 

development, 145 

elevations, 144 

erosion and deposition, 145 

location, 144 

physiography, 66 

shoreline changes, 145 

vegetation, 144-145 
Radiometric dating, 13-14,20-21 
Rainfall extremes, 51-52 
Ramp margin shoals, 93 
Rice cultivation, 61,73,76 
Richter magnitude scale, 25-26 
River classification, 76 
River sediments (See Sediments) 
River valleys, 7,12-13,61,73,76 

Salkehatchie River 

classification, 76 

Colleton County drainage, 134 

physiography, 78-79 
Saltwater encroachment, 33,35-37 
Samp it River 

dredging data, 108,167,170 

Georgetown County drainage, 132 

water quality, 129 
Santee-Cooper Diversion-Rediversion, 13, 
18,44,61,78,80,84 

description, 118-119 

freshwater discharge, 110-111,115-117 

hydroelectric power, 116 

impacts, 116 
Santee-Cooper 

hydroelectric power, 78 

origin, 78 



209 



Santee Formation, 2,21,27,29,31 
Santee River 

Berkeley County drainage, 132 

Charleston County drainage, 133 

classification, 76 

discharge, 111 

Georgetown County drainage, 132 

physiography, 73,78-79 

sediments, 7,13 
Santee Swamp, preservation, 187 
Sapelo Island 

acreage, 160-161 

classification, 160 

development, 161 

estuarine sanctuary, 161 

elevations, 161 

erosion and deposition, 161 

location, 160 

physiography, 69 

profile, 65 

vegetation, 161 
Sapelo River, Mcintosh County drainage, 

138 
Sapelo Sound 

estuarine classification, 80 

tidal inlet classification, 95 
Satilla River 

Camden County drainage, 139 

classification, 76 

origin, 78 

physiography, 79 

preservation, 189 

water quality, 130 
Savannah Coast Guard Light Tower, 88,91 
Savannah Harbor 

construction history, 112 

description, 104 

dredged disposal easements, 112,116,118 

dredging data, 106,112, 175-177 

shoaling, 112-113,117-118 
Savannah River 

bottom profile, 76 

Chatham County drainage, 136 

classification, 76 

Effingham County drainage, 136 

Jasper County drainage, 135 

origin, 78 

physiography, 73,79 

radiometric dating, 13 

sealevel changes, 24,29 

water quality, 102,120,130 
Sea Island 

acreage, 162 

classification, 162 

development, 162 

elevations, 162 

erosion and deposition, 162 

location, 162 

vegetation, 162 
Sea islands 

definition, 65 

identification, 66-70 

physiography, 62,66-70 

profile, 65 
Sealevel changes, 5-6,24,29,32,34,65,76, 

80 
Seabrook Island 

acreage, 149 

classification, 149 

development, 150 

elevations, 150 

erosion and deposition, 150 

sediments, 14 



location, 149 

physiography, 67 

vegetation, 150 
Sediment transport, 2,5,71,76,87 
Sediments 

estuarine, 80,97 

fluvial, 7,13,76 

Holocene, 13 

marsh, 41 

Pleistocene, 5,7-13 

suspended, 82,86 

tidal inlet, 93,97 

Winyah Bay, 13 
Seismicity, 2,21,24,27,29 (See also Earth- 
quakes) 
Shellfish (See Water quality) 
Snuggedy Swamp, 29 
Socastee Formation, 5 
Soils 

acid, 41,44,118-119 

alterations, 103 

barrier islands, 41,44 

cat clay, 118-119 

classification, 39,42-43 

fauna, 39 

formation, 39,41 

horizons, 39-41 

mainland, 41,44 

management , 44-45 

marshland, 41 

nutrient exchange, 44 

sea islands, 41,44 

series, 39 
Solid wastes pollution sources, 131 
South Edisto River 

Charleston County drainage, 133 

tidal inlet classification, 95 
South Island 

acreage, 141 

classification, 141 

elevations, 141 

erosion and deposition, 99,108-110,141 

location, 141 

physiography, 66 

shoreline changes, 141 

vegetation, 141 
South Newport River 

Liberty County drainage, 137 

Mcintosh County drainage, 138 
South Santee River 

tidal inlet classification, 95 

water quality, 129 
Southeast Georgia Embayment , 2,21,24 
St. Andrews Sound 

estuarine classification, 80 

tidal inlet classification, 96 
St. Catherines Island 

acreage, 159 

classification, 159 

development, 159-160 

elevations, 159 

erosion and deposition, 159 

location, 159 

physiography, 69 

shoreline changes, 159 

vegetation, 159 
St. Catherines Sound, tidal inlet classi- 
fication, 95 
St. Helena Island 

acreage, 152 

classification, 152 

development, 152 

erosion and deposition, 152 



210 



location, 152 

physiography, 68 

vegetation, 152 
St. Helena Sound 

limestone, 21 

tidal inlet classification, 95 
St. Marys River 

Camden County drainage, 139 

classification, 76 

construction history, 115 

description, 104 

dredging data, 106,115,184-185 

erosion and deposition, 98,100 

jetties, 72-73,99,115 

origin, 78 

physiography, 79 

sealevel changes, 24,29 

tidal inlet classification, 96 

water quality, 120,130 
St. Phillips Island 

acreage, 154 

classification, 72,154 

development, 154 

elevations, 154 

erosion and deposition, 154 

location, 154 

physiography, 68 

preservation, 187 

vegetation, 154 
St. Simons Island 

acreage, 162 

classification, 162 

development, 162 

elevations, 162 

erosion and deposition, 73 

location, 162 

physiography, 70 

vegetation, 162 
St. Simons Sound 

dredging data, 179,181,183 

tidal inlet classification, 96 
Stono Arch, 21 
Stono River 

Charleston County drainage, 133 

erosion and deposition, 14,98-99 

mineral deposits, 27 

tidal inlet classification, 95 

water quality, 129 
Stratigraphy, 10 
Sullivans Island 

acreage, 147 

classification, 147 

bottom currents, 82 

development, 147 

elevations, 147 

erosion and deposition, 108,111,147 

location, 147 

physiography, 66 

vegetation, 147 

Talbot-Pamlico Formation, 5 

Temperature extremes, 46-48 

Terry Creek, dredging data, 179,181,183 

Tertiary Formation, 2-3 

Tertiary period, 2 

Tidal current velocity, 93,102 

Tidal inlet 

bottom sediments, 97 

classification, 87-88,93,95 

erosion and deposition, 98 

morphology, 101 

nomenclature, 93-94 

sediments, 93 



Tidal prism, 89,93 
Tornado belt, 50 
Turtle Island 

acreage, 156 

classification, 156 

development, 157 

elevations, 156 

erosion and deposition, 157 

location, 156 

physiography, 68 

vegetation, 156 
Turtle River 

dredging data, 178,180,182 

Glynn County drainage, 138 

water quality, 130 
Tuscaloosa Aquifer, 33 
Tybee Island 

acreage, 157 

classification, 157 

development, 157 

elevations, 157 

erosion and deposition, 73,157 

location, 157 

physiography, 69 

radiometric dating, 13-14 

vegetation, 157 

Urban demands, 104 

Waccamaw Formation, 5 
Waccamaw River 

classification, 76 

geomorphic elements, 12 

Georgetown County drainage, 132 

physiography, 78-79 

water quality, 120,129 
Wando River 

Berkeley County drainage, 132 

Charleston County drainage, 133 

mineral deposits, 27 

shoaling, 111 

water quality, 84 
Wassaw Island 

acreage, 158 

classification, 158 

development, 158 

elevations, 158 

erosion and deposition, 158 

location, 158 

physiography, 69 

vegetation, 158 
Wassaw Sound, tidal inlet classification, 

95 
Water circulation patterns, 102 
Water pollution, 128-129 
Water quality, 120 

agricultural runoff, 104,128-129 

impact on shellfish harvesting, 129-130 
Water utilization, 102 
Waves 

climate data, 88-92 

refraction, 88,98 
Williamson Island 

acreage, 158 

classification, 158 

location, 158 

physiography, 69 

shoreline changes, 158 

vegetation, 158 
Wilmington Island, radiometric dating, 13 
Wilmington River 

Chatham County drainage, 136 

radiometric dating, 13 



211 



Wilson Dam, 116 
Wind 

patterns, 15,50 

statistics, 52 
Winyah Bay 

bottom profile, 76-77 

estuarine classification, 80 

construction history, 105 

description, 104-105 

dredging data, 105,108,166-171 

erosion and deposition, 109-110 

formation, 78 

jetties, 72,99,108-110 

sediments, 19 

tidal inlet classification, 95 

water quality, 120,129 
Wolf Island 

acreage, 161 

classification, 161 

development, 161 

elevations, 161 

erosion and deposition, 161 

location, 161 

physiography, 69 

vegetation, 161 



•U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1981--772-I5* *12 



Dp*- P 



3 1604 004 720 134 




■fr 



©-© 



Headquarters - Office of Biological 
Servic es, Washington, D.C. 

National Coastal Ecosystems Team, 

Slidell . La. 

Regional Offices 

Area Office 



U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE 
REGIONAL OFFICES 



REGION 1 

Regional Director 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

Lloyd Five Hundred Building, Suite 1692 

500 N.E. Multnomah Street 

Portland, Oregon 97232 

REGION 2 

Regional Director 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

P.O.Box 1306 

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87103 

REGION 3 

Regional Director 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

Federal Building, Fort Snelling 

Twin Cities, Minnesota 55111 



REGION 4 

Regional Director 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

Richard B. Russell Building 

75 Spring Street, S.W. 

Atlanta, Georgia 30303 

REGION 5 

Regional Director 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

One Gatev/ay Center 

Newton Corner, Massachusetts 02158 

REGION 6 

Regional Director 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

P.O. Box 25486 

Denver Federal Center 

Denver, Colorado 80225 



ALASKA AREA 

Regional Director 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
1011 E.Tudor Road 
Anchorage, Alaska 99503